Multimillion pound campus opens in Aberdare

College campus launch sees world leading scientist fly home to join First Minister in celebrating milestone for education in the Cynon Valley

Aberdare has celebrated a landmark for education in the Cynon Valley, as Coleg y Cymoedd officially opens its multimillion pound campus in the heart of the town. 

Coleg y Cymoedd Aberdare Campus Official Opening

The college’s £22 million Aberdare campus was officially opened by First Minister Carwyn Jones and Dr Lyn Evans, the Welsh scientist who is project leader at CERN, the site of the world’s largest scientific experiment which successfully proved the existence of the Higgs Boson or “God Particle”.

The new campus, which has opened its door to over 600 full-time learners, was jointly funded by Coleg y Cymoedd and Welsh Government, which contributed £11 million to the project from its 21st Century Schools and Education Programme. 

Addressing the learners, staff, and guests of Coleg y Cymoedd, First Minister Carwyn Jones, said: “I am proud the Welsh Government has supported this new college with £11 million of funding. When you look around this fantastic site, you can see it has been money well spent.

Carwyn Jones, First Minister officially opening Coleg y Cymoedd Aberdare Campus

“This new college provides students with the most modern environment and very best resources to help them realise their potential.   As well as benefitting teachers and students, the college will be an invaluable community resource for the people of Aberdare to use and enjoy.” The college reports that early indications show an upsurge in enrolment, which it in part credits to its work building co-operative partnerships with local comprehensive schools and employers.

Judith Evans, principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “This is truly a day of celebration as we officially open the doors of the new campus to showcase the facility Aberdare has been waiting for. We believe that it is the right of all in Wales to have access to high quality education and training that leads to real employment paths.

Judith Evans, Principal of Coleg y Cymoedd at the official opening of Coleg y ymoedd Aberdare Campus

“We are grateful to Welsh Government for joining us in our mission to ensure that our communities in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly can access the facilities and opportunities they deserve. Our thanks also go to the businesses who work with us each year to allow our learners to gain the experience and job opportunities that will see them prosper. 

“Most of all, we welcome our Aberdare community to join us to explore and enjoy the facility we have created here, and discover how we can support them in achieving their personal goals.”      

In addition to the college’s established curriculum, the new campus provides access to an extended range of courses, including bricklaying, carpentry & joinery, electrical installation, plumbing, creative arts and media, and sports.

Learners at the Coleg y Cymoedd Aberdare Campus Official Opening

The official opening was also attended by Aberdare-born Dr Lyn Evans, who flew home to Wales from the CERN site in Switzerland specially to discuss the importance of providing education opportunities that encourage new generations to study STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects and high-value careers in industry.  

That call was echoed by an array of Coleg y Cymoedd’s business partners, who took advantage of their first chance to visit the range of bespoke training facilities that have been incorporated into the new site.

Learners at the Coleg y Cymoedd Aberdare Campus Official Opening

Each year, the college’s longstanding links with major local employers and multinational companies allows its learners to secure sought-after apprenticeship and industry experience. In Aberdare, popular courses such as plumbing and electrical, and construction, are specifically designed to meet the industry job demands of firms in the area.

Designed over three floors, the main building of the new campus houses state-of-the-art facilities for many specialist courses, including computing, creative media, care and childhood studies, hospitality and catering, and hair and beauty. 

The facilities also include a professional hairdressing salon, restaurant, and a coffee shop. Salon 44 hair and beauty salon, and Carriages restaurant will be open to the public as a new offering for the community as well as college learners.

Coleg y Cymoedd Aberdare Campus Official Opening

The site’s proximity to Aberdare railway station, Aberdare Community School and the town centre will provide learners and staff with significantly improved access to public transport and commuter links from outlying areas. 

Rhondda Campus fundraisers for brand new South Wales cancer facility

Our Rhondda Campus in Llwynypia, has pledged to raise money throughout the academic year to help battle cancer by fundraising for a new state-of-the-art facility, with its learners, tutors and the local community all joining together in support of the cause.

The campus which is home to more than 700 learners, commenced its fundraising marathon by hosting a coffee morning in aid of cancer charity Macmillan – the campus’ chosen ‘Charity of the Year’ – which provides help and support to those affected by the disease.

Staff and learners at the college were joined by Coleg y Cymoedd Principal, Judith Evans, together with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Mayor, Cllr Margaret Tegg and her consort to raise funds, which will go towards the construction of a brand new £6.75m cancer facility for the area.

The specialist care unit, which is being built by Macmillan Cancer Support and Cwm Taf University Health Board at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, will provide cancer patients with ultra-modern facilities as well as palliative care and support for people with incurable cancer and other conditions.

The coffee morning saw the sale of cakes, drinks, jewellery and crafts, with learners from across the college campus taking a break from their studies to participate. 

Cllr Margaret Tegg said:  “It has been a pleasure to be part of the strong community support for this extremely worthwhile cause”.

As its chosen charity for 2017/18, the college campus will take part in a number of fundraising activities throughout the year in support of Macmillan, with the coffee morning kick-starting the schedule of events.

Carolyn Donegan, Campus Director at Rhondda said: “Over the years, a number of our staff and their families have been assisted and supported by Macmillan, whose help has been completely invaluable and so, for us, there was no question in choosing Macmillan as our charity of the year.

“Our aim is to help the people at Macmillan to continue all of the amazing work that they do for people all over the country, as well as contribute towards creating brand new facilities that will make a real difference to cancer patients in Wales”.

To maximise the money raised for a charity that’s close to its heart, the college has shifted its approach to fundraising placing a larger focus on having a rolling programme of events and engaging more staff and learners than ever before.

Carolyn added: “While Macmillan coffee mornings aren’t new, our attitude towards fundraising is. This will be the first time that the campus has created a dedicated calendar of fundraising events throughout the year that incorporates learners throughout every department across the campus. We wanted to build upon our traditional fundraising relationship into something more strategic and meaningful.”

The coffee morning follows previous fundraising activity that the Rhondda Campus has been involved in over the last few years, with multiple staff having volunteered to fundraise independently and the campus having previously opened its doors on numerous occasions as a ‘rest and re-fuel’ stop for individuals taking part in Macmillan fundraising walks.


Wellington Street
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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