The two-form entry primary school, Ysgol Pen Rhos, located in Llanelli, Wales, designed by HLM Architects, has won the Sustainability & Resilience Award at the Social Value for Future Generations Awards 2021. The awards celebrate innovation, leadership and best practice of social value in Wales and also links with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.
“As a team we’re very proud of how the scheme has regenerated the locality both socially and economically”
Judged by an independent expert panel, the category celebrates businesses that take action to tackle the inequalities experienced by marginalised groups in Wales. Entries were required to demonstrate how they had tackled poverty and socio-economic disadvantages, ensured appropriate employment opportunities were available, showed an understanding of and took steps to address the effects of inequalities in Wales, and demonstrated forward-thinking, while considering future trends that are likely to impact these inequalities.
Built on a contaminated brownfield site prone to vandalism and anti-social behaviour, the new-build primary school addresses the criteria – it has transformed and remodelled the external landscape of the former industrial land, known as Draka, to deliver a much needed modern 21st century early learning facility.
The new ‘Flying Start’ nursery on the school site, delivered for Carmarthenshire County Council, was designed to enable improved, inclusive educational delivery that provides a flexible and adaptable space to adjust to changes in the curriculum. The multidisciplinary team that works on site provides support services for the children and their families, and the school allows for the Welsh Government’s early years programme to be readily accessed by families with children under 4 years of age.
Philip Watson, Director & Head of Design, said: “It’s fantastic to see this development recognised for the significant benefits it brings to the local area. The project team faced many challenges when developing this scheme, but they worked hard and used their expertise to overcome them, creating a school that gives local children and families access to early learning services that were previously lacking. As a team we’re very proud of how the scheme has regenerated the locality both socially and economically.
The school has greatly benefitted families in the local area, and these positive outcomes of the build have also extended to the wider local community. It was essential that, as part of the scheme, local suppliers and SME’s were used and this led to 25 previously unemployed people being employed, 31 apprenticeship opportunities secured, and 82% of the contract value for goods, services and overheads spent with businesses based in Wales. The result positioned Ysgol Pen Rhos as a catalyst for regeneration, and a driver for economic benefit and change in the local area.
- A 21st century learning facility that has regenerated a derelict, high contaminated brownfield site.
- A catalyst for socio-economic benefits and positive change in the local area.
- A Thriving education environment , shared with the community, improving wellbeing, and inspiring the next generation.
- Designed for improved, inclusive educational delivery, readily adaptable to curriculum changes.
- Employment included 31 apprenticeships, 10 traineeships and work for 25 previously unemployed persons.