News

Coleg Harlech - Plans for the Future

03-December-2015

A feasibility study has been commissioned to consider the future of Coleg Harlech.

The study, commissioned by site managers WEA YMCA Community College Cymru using North Wales-based Clear Thinking Strategy & Planning Ltd, initially seeks to involve residents and learning communities in and around Harlech to ensure a broad of range ideas are considered including the possibility of once again providing residential adult education.

The study group wish to ensure any solutions allow ancillary uses for public benefit, where Coleg resources are of benefit to the community including the library, theatre, squash courts, art exhibition space, and community based classes.

Coleg Harlech, located between the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Harlech Castle, and overlooking the National Nature Reserve at Morfa Harlech in the Snowdonia National Park, provides a singularly inspirational location for education, as well as the potential for entrepreneurial development, residential and wet-weather provision and job creation linked to tourism.

In addition, Coleg Harlech’s rich history - being established during the economic challenges of 1927 by Thomas Jones, as a catalyst for improving life chances through the development of skills in a positive academic environment - also presents an opportunity to capitalise on the buildings narrative, and to develop a heritage trail associated with Harlech Castle, providing a permanent display in Coleg Harlech’s main Grade II* listed-building, Wern Fawr.

An open consultation where all are welcome to attend is to be held at Coleg Harlech on the 14th December 2015 from 1.00pm to 8.00pm.

Chief Executive of WEA YMCA Community College Cymru Mark A Isherwood said: “The Coleg Harlech has been recognised nationally and internationally for enabling adults to develop their capacity to learn and fulfil their potential, however with the reduction of public funding, the Harlech Campus will need to become innovative and aspirational to secure its future and contribute to the regeneration of the area. WEA YMCA Community College Cymru are committed to finding the best possible future for the site and the town. We have appointed Clear Thinking Strategy & Planning to produce a feasibility study and a costed, implementable and time-scaled business plan by March 2016 and look forward to working with them and all of our stakeholders over the next few months.”

Jane Richardson of Clear Thinking Strategy & Planning said, “We are delighted to be undertaking this study on behalf of WEA YMCA Community College Cymru. We look forward to meeting the community and prospective learners to consider how the Coleg can contribute to the town’s economy, and support Harlech as a world class visitor destination.”

The study is to be presented to the Coleg Harlech Steering Group early in the New Year. This Steering Group was established by WEA Cymru in March 2015 to oversee options for the sustainability of the Coleg Harlech site. Once a preferred option has been identified, a full business plan will be developed to ensure there is a sustainable, long-term future for the site.

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