A building project that will transform education for vulnerable learners in Powys has reached an important milestone, the county council has announced.

ISG Ltd has been awarded the contract by Powys County Council to build a new school for Brynllywarch Hall School.  Construction on the £9.1m project will start early next year.

The school, located in Kerry near Newtown, provides education for pupils from 8 to 19-year-olds, with a wide range of complex emotional, behavioural and social difficulties.

The project will help the council improve learner entitlement and experience.

When completed, the council will have delivered a purpose-built and flagship community focused school with 72 places in age-appropriate environments which will include:

  • Specialist support and provision to pupils with challenging behaviour, emotional and social difficulties in a modern and innovative learning environment
  • Appropriate learning spaces to deliver the new national curriculum
  • Specialist equipment, including IT facilities, to support teaching and learning outcomes which will help to ensure all learners maximise their potential
  • A fully equipped class base, with breakout space and hygiene facilities, together with an individual outdoor learning area.

Community groups will also be able to access the facilities out of school hours.

The Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme (formerly the 21st Century Schools Programme) will fund 75% of the school construction project with the remaining 25% being funded by the council.

This exciting development is the latest construction project that has been tendered by the council that has used the National TOMs Framework – which stands for themes, outcomes and measures – which has been developed to help councils measure the social value outcomes in their contracts.

The social value element of this project has been calculated at £2.093m which will require ISG Ltd to provide substantial opportunities for local contractors as well as deliver additional community benefits during the scheme’s construction.

Cllr Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said: “I’m delighted see ISG Ltd appointed as the lead contractors to build the new school for Brynllywarch Hall School.

“The existing Brynllywarch Hall building no longer offers a suitable environment for the teaching and support requirements of pupils with significant behavioural, emotional or social difficulties.

“When complete, the new building will provide an environment where teaching staff can thrive and provide pupils with the facilities that enable their needs to be met their needs giving them a more enjoyable and fulfilling educational experience.

“We therefore look forward to working together with ISG Ltd as them turn the plans into bricks and mortar.”

Kath Roberts-Jones, Chair of Governors and Headteacher Gavin Randell, said: ” The whole school community is very pleased that the well needed new school is progressing and is looking forward to working closely with the contractors and bring the school to completion.”

ISG’s Operations Director, Kevin McElroy, said: “We’re proud to be working with Powys County Council to build state-of-the-art facilities for Brynllywarch Hall School. It is an exemplar project designed around the principles of strong contractor engagement to deliver an outstanding education facility that brings equal learning opportunities to all of its students.

“Upon completion the facility will provide the much-needed specialist support and the learning environments to deliver tailored lessons, enabling and empowering all pupils to be educated to the national curriculum – all while meeting crucial environmental criteria. Once open it is set to achieve net zero carbon in operation and offer significant social value requirements that we look forward to collaborating with Powys on and maximising local opportunities.

“The delivery of this project expands on our vast experience in the area and is the latest we have secured through the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme via the SEWSCAP3 Framework. It follows the successful completion of South Point Primary in the Vale of Glamorgan earlier this year, the first net zero carbon school in Wales.”

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