21st Century Schools Capital Programme
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet members will be presented with the next exciting proposals in the pipeline for improving education provision in various areas of the County when they meet on Tuesday 17 March.
Firstly, there is a proposal to build a brand new Welsh medium primary school, replacing Ysgol Croes Atti with a new-build school on a new site on the Croes Atti development in Flint. Land has been identified and this project is considered a priority for the 21st century schools programme and is linked closely to the Council’s Welsh Education Strategic Plan. Formal consultation needs to be carried out as the new school site is fractionally over the mileage criteria from the existing school, as set out in the School Organisation Code.
The next innovative proposal is to develop a combined primary and secondary campus on the Argoed school site, similar to the school campus at Holywell. This project has been identified as the best fit for a Mutual Investment Model (MIM) funding project.
MIM is a new form of Public Private Partnership (PPP). It enables WG to deliver infrastructure projects beyond that set by present UK Government borrowing limits. If WG does not use MIM, £500 million pounds of investment in the education estate will not be available to councils in Wales and this would have implications on the Council’s proposed programme locally.
The proposal is that the MIM funding model is switched from Saltney to Mynydd Isa. This does not impact of the Council’s desire to invest in education provision in the Saltney area. This switch has been tested with WG and they are comfortable with this proposal.
Whilst statutory consultation is not required in the Mynydd Isa area, consultation with key stakeholders will be carried out – the level and type of which will be agreed with the governing bodies of Argoed High School and Ysgol Mynydd Isa.
The third major area for consideration is Saltney and Broughton area. Firstly, Broughton CP School has been identified as a sustainable school in its own right.
However, in Saltney, an amalgamation of Saltney Ferry CP and Saltney Wood Memorial CP into a new building is seen as the preferred option. This would not only bring the existing community primary provision in Saltney up to 21st century school standard it would ensure that primary provision in the area is sustainable into the future.
In addition Cabinet earlier agreed to extend the review of secondary education provision in Saltney to include Broughton. It is proposed to undertake informal consultation with key stakeholders in the communities of Broughton and Saltney. This information will be brought back to a future Cabinet meeting to enable strategic decisions to be considered. This will run in conjunction with a statutory consultation on changes to the local primary school provision.
Flintshire County Council’s Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:
“Some fantastic work has already been done with Welsh Government support in various areas of the County, including projects in Holywell, Penyffordd, Connah’s Quay and Queensferry.
“In terms of the onward investment programme and to ensure that we can make sure that these exciting projects can progress as quickly as possible, it is now hoped that Cabinet and Welsh Government will agree these proposals.”