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Recent property sales could generate over £1m for council services

Property sales across the city in recent weeks mean close to £1 million could soon be reinvested back into Swansea Council services for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of residents.

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The former Manselton Primary School site on Cecil Street and the former pupil referral unit on West Cross Avenue are among the properties to have been sold by the council's strategic estates team.

Legal documentation is now being finalised for the former Manselton Primary School site, which was sold at auction last week for £235,000. The sale of the former pupil referral unit in West Cross is now in solicitors' hands, with the site earmarked for a small residential development.

Contractual discussions about the former Cwmbwrla Primary School on Stepney Street are also on-going, following the conclusion of a recent marketing of the site.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "These are three examples of the superb work that's taking place behind the scenes as we look to become more streamlined as a council, make best use of our estate and generate money that's reinvested back into services for the benefit of residents. This is especially important at a time when the council faces unprecedented financial challenges.

"The state-of-the-art, new Burlais Primary School has now opened to replace the ageing former Manselton and Cwmbwrla school buildings that were no longer fit-for-purpose, and, subject to planning approval, new homes are planned for the site of the former pupil referral unit in West Cross.

"This is all part of an on-going review of our land and property as we strive to make the council an innovative organisation that's sustainable and fit for the future."

There had been a call from parent group RhAG to provide Welsh medium education at the former Cwmbwrla school site, but Cllr Stewart says it wasn't suitable.

He said: "We're wholly committed to the provision of Welsh medium education in Swansea. Two new Welsh medium schools were opened in the city in 2011 and 2012, funding has been approved for the new YGG Lon Las School and we're moving forward with plans to improve facilities at YGG Y Login Fach and Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr.

"The former Cwmbwrla school site, however, wasn't fit for 21st Century education. It was a sub-standard premises needing almost £2m worth of repairs and substantial modernisation. It is also a very constrained site, which means a new build there couldn't adequately accommodate a full range of facilities for pupils. Placing pupils in such an unfit facility would go against our aim to improve education and attainment among all pupils, no matter what medium of schooling they choose.

"We will continue to consider any further proposals RhAG has for meeting Welsh medium capacity needs."

Cabinet is also being asked later this month to rubber-stamp the sale of Dan-y-Coed House in West Cross. Due to its age and condition, the building, once used a base for the council's outdoor activity service programme, was put on the marketplace as the council focusses its resources on its two other outdoor activity centres in Rhossili and Port Eynon.

Other land to be marketed later this summer includes a seven and a half-acre plot opposite Asda in Llansamlet.

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