Coleg Gwent to close campus in Pontypool

By Twm Owen

SOME 200 construction apprentices will have their training relocated due to the closure of a college campus.

Coleg Gwent has confirmed its campus in Blaendare Road, Pontypool, will close down at the end of the summer term.

The college originally closed the site in 2020, when it opened a new Torfaen Learning Zone in Cwmbran, but re-opened it as a base for some construction apprenticeships due to a lack of space at its Newport campus.

As a result of the permanent closure confirmed this week Coleg Gwent has said apprentices will transfer to Newport, and some to Ebbw Vale. It also confirmed there will be no reduction in apprentice places, with some 215 currently training in Pontypool.

A college spokeswoman said: “Apprentices were originally relocated to the City of Newport Campus along with all our other construction curriculum, but, due to changes that were introduced in how the curriculum was delivered, alongside growth in our apprenticeship numbers, we needed more space that was not available. We took this opportunity to recommission the construction centre at the Pontypool campus and use it as the base to train apprentices.

“We will be doing some work at the City of Newport Campus over the summer break to be able to accommodate the apprentices alongside our other construction learners at a permanent campus. A small number of apprentices will be relocating to our existing construction provision at the Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone in Ebbw Vale.”

She said apprentices usually attend college for one day a week and it has been communicating with them and their employers about the changes.

Coleg Gwent is the main further education provider in the area, and Cllr Richard Clark, who is the cabinet member for education on Torfaen Borough Council, said he had no concerns about its decision.

He said: “We have a strategic partnership with Coleg Gwent and work closely with them and we worked closely with them on the Cwmbran Learning Zone and we’ve not seen the migration of, are not still seeing students, going to Hereford.”

The college has said the site, which was also used as a Covid vaccine centre, has been put forward as a potential housing site to Torfaen council.

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