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THE much loved Heol Goffa School which has served Carmarthenshire for 50 years is to have a new home.

In an exciting development a state of the art new £10million special needs school for children who have learning difficulties to carry on the exemplary work of Heol Goffa is to be embraced on the world class Wellness and Life Science Village alongside the Llanelli coastline at Delta Lakes.

Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council Emlyn Dole broke the news and keeping his promise of provision of a state of the art new school to a special assembly of Heol Goffa pupils and staff to resounding cheers and applause.

He said: “All of you at this ‘double excellent’ Estyn 2017 achieving school deserve a new home.

“And what better fit could there be than on the campus of the proposed world class wellness village bringing together new sport and leisure facilities, business and research opportunities, education and training, as well as health and wellbeing services and assisted living accommodation set within an attractive lakeside environment.

“The only criticism of Heol Goffa in the Estyn Report was of the current ageing accommodation at the school. Well, we are going to do something exciting about that of which we can all be proud.

“Scheme development has already started and continues in earnest. A time line for delivery of this exciting project is anticipated in 2018.

Funding of £10-million has been earmarked from the council’s Modernising Education Programme and the Welsh Government’s 21stCentury Schools initiative. Special provisions required for the school could add additional costs

The school will be sited on land behind and separate from the new Ysgol Pen Rhos school and adjacent to Delta Lakes.

Head teacher Mrs Nikki Symmons said: “After a wonderful year where we not only celebrated our 50thanniversary but also achieved the Estyn “double Excellent” status, to now be told that we will have a state of the art school building, is really the icing on the cake. 

“This is due recognition of the hard work and dedication of the staff in the school which builds on the foundations laid by our predecessors at Ysgol Heol Goffa.  We currently have 85 pupils in the school, who’ve worked so hard this year and are thrilled at the prospect of a new school.  The new school will provide for the education of around 120 pupils and will require at least 80 teaching and support staff”.

Chair of governors Owen Jenkins added: “Carmarthenshire Council showed great initiative and vision when they opened this school 50 years ago.  We are now looking forward to working with the authority and the whole school community to support the dreams and aspirations of our pupils in a setting which is worthy of them.  This will also enable us to continue our pioneering work providing a beacon for others in special education and beyond.” 

The £200-million Wellness and Life Science Village is being led by Carmarthenshire council in partnership with Hywel Dda and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Boards and Swansea University. It is also a key project for the Swansea Bay City Region and, subject to submission of a detailed business case will receive £40million as part of the £1.3billion City Deal funding.

The Swansea Bay City Deal is a £1.3billion investment that will transform the economic landscape of the area, boosting the local economy by £1.8billion, and generating almost 10,000 new jobs over the next 15 years.

The Swansea Bay City Region partners include the four local authorities – Carmarthenshire County Council, Swansea City Council, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and Pembrokeshire County Council – together with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Hywel Dda University Health Boards, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity St David’s, Welsh Government, UK Government and private sector companies.

Estyn report: https://www.estyn.gov.wales/provider/6697000

Estyn Best Practice: https://www.estyn.gov.wales/effective-practice/international-partnerships-broaden-curriculum-and-provide-stimulating-learning

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