CARDIFF: Willows High School in Cardiff to be rebuilt on site of popular local market
Picture: Cardiff council
Willows High School in Cardiff is set to be rebuilt on the site of a popular local market.
The current school building in Tremorfa is ageing and Cardiff council is planning to rebuild the school just over a mile down the road.
The new school is planned for three sites off Lewis Road, including the current site of Splott Market.
The council bought the market site and is currently renting it to Splott Market on a 12-month lease, to allow time for the organisers to relocate the market.
Over the summer a consultation sought feedback from the public on the plans for the new school. More than 200 responses were received which generally supported the plans, but some raised concerns about the relocation of the school, as well as traffic and road safety.
Councillor Sarah Merry, cabinet member for education, employment and skills, said: “A new home for Willows High School represents a significant investment in the local area, providing considerably improved educational facilities in a brand new school, as well as excellent amenities accessible to the whole community.
“The views of local people will play an integral part in the scheme and it is promising that so many responses received have been in support of the new school development. The public engagement asked for views on what should be taught at the school and how it should be delivered.
“Responses supported a focus on collaborative working with a wide range of industry partners, allowing pupils to benefit from a rich curriculum which delivers ‘real world’ learning opportunities, inspiring them and helping to develop their skills to be resilient, innovative and problem solving learners.
“The report also identifies a host of community benefits on offer including access to state-of-the art, modern facilities, ICT and integration with city partners and businesses.”
Willows High School couldn’t be rebuilt in its current location due to flood risk. After the new building is finished, the old site could be used for new open public space, or as part of the Coed Caerdydd project to plant thousands of trees across Cardiff.
Cllr Merry added: “We acknowledge there were some concerns such as the location of the new school. After consideration was given to several sites, the proposed location was found to be accessible for the catchment population with a range of active transport routes already in place.
“There would be an opportunity to deliver on the council’s commitment to develop Active Travel Plans and accessible walking and cycling routes for all schools, by implementing new routes for cycling and improved pedestrian facilities in the area.
“The new site would also present significant benefits for the school and community, including opportunities to form links with local businesses and organisations in the area who can help create challenging, supportive and stimulating opportunities to promote aspiration and achievement.”
Words: Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporter
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