A DECISION to consult on proposals to create a brand new £23.8 million Catholic ‘super school’ in Rhyl has been agreed.
Members of Denbighshire County Council’s cabinet have approved a formal consultation on the proposals, which would entail the replacement of Ysgol Mair, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School.
It is hoped the new school would be open by September 1, 2019.
The formal consultation will start on February 14 and last until March 27. A report outlining the findings will presented to cabinet before the summer.
The Diocese of Wrexham and Denbighshire County Council have agreed to further the plan as part of the 21st century schools and education programme, to be delivered in partnership with the Welsh Government
Cllr Eryl Williams, Denbighshire’s cabinet lead member for education said: “There have been very positive discussions with the Diocese of Wrexham and the schools to deliver this exciting project that would transform Catholic education for pupils in the Rhyl area.”
Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies said: “This new proposal has local support and importantly can build on good local provision here in Rhyl.
“It represents the potential for more investment in north Denbighshire, along with recent announcements on a new hospital and promenade developments.
“It will also provide vital educational choice and modernised provision for children and end a period of uncertainty in the town”.
A number of Rhyl councillors have campaigned to have the school built in the town, claiming if it were to be built somewhere else in Denbighshire, such as Rhuddlan, as suggested, it would cause a number of transport problems for pupils attending the current Catholic schools.
Cllr Joan Butterfield who has been a part of the campaign said: “I’m very happy that at last there has been a decision taken to progress the new school.
“Denbighshire County Council have a very good record meeting the needs of the student in Denbighshire in providing new schools under the 21Century School Program.
“All the Rhyl councillors have worked for some time now to secure the new school in Rhyl, we think to regenerate a town and not address this much needed new school would be a concern to the students and parents alike.
“We look forward to having two new schools in Rhyl – one being our new high school and now the replacement to our Catholic school, with, I'm sure, an imaginative design to accommodate [ages] three to 16. The town should be pleased to see this next step in our regeneration.”
Cllr Brian Blakely who has also been involved with the campaign said: “This is a triumph for the residents of Rhyl – it’s absolutely fantastic news.
“We’ve been fighting for this for a couple of years now. The threat was that the school would be built outside of Rhyl.
“This is a feather in the cap of our local community.”
Matthew Curtis, chair of Governors at Blessed Edward Jones, said, “I look forward to leading our school community through this exciting time.
“We will also do all we can to help shape the development of this project.”