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Playground upgrade ahead of work on new school buildings

WORK to relocate and upgrade an existing playground at a park in Gorseinon could get underway in the summer ahead of the construction of much needed new school buildings for more than 300 primary school pupils.

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Swansea Council's Cabinet is being asked to approve a revised budget for the state-of-the-art home for Gorseinon Primary School so that the project can begin.

The school is currently spread over two sites and the existing Victorian buildings are in poor condition with major defects. They continue to deteriorate despite money being spent on essential repairs.

The new school, on a small parcel of land at Parc y Werin, which will be jointly funded by Swansea Council and the Welsh Government was granted planning permission in December 2015.

A series of village green applications have put construction on hold but now they have been refused work can commence this year subject to Cabinet's approval.

The timetable would  see the existing playground at Parc y Werin enhanced and relocated and road safety and traffic improvement measures carried out before construction starts on the new school buildings.

The £6.9m investment also includes a 3G pitch and all-weather multi-use games area that will be available for wider community use outside of school hours.

Councillor Jennifer Raynor, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills,  said: "The delays to this vital investment in the future of children in the community have been unfortunate but I'm pleased that we are now in a position to give the go-head for a brand new school that will benefit generations of young learners.

"The school's existing buildings are in a poor condition. We want to provide new modern learning facilities as soon as we possibly can to give the pupils the best possible chance of reaching their full potential.

"The council has said it many times before, but it's worth repeating, the majority of Parc y Werin will still be available to the public for sport and recreation just as it always has been. 

"The amount of land needed for the new school building itself at Parc y Werin will take up about 6.5% of the entire park area. The amount of land required for the whole school campus, including replacing the existing car park, a new 3G pitch and green space for pupils is 3.212 acres.

"On top of that the planning permission process also guarantees that the community will get an upgraded play area to replace the one that's already there and this work will be completed before construction starts on the new school buildings.

"The delays have inevitably seen project costs rise but thanks to the careful management of our on-going investment in education in Swansea, which already exceeds £100m, we are in a position to deliver this new school for Gorseinon." 

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