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Three former Ceredigion schools sales agreed by senior councillors

Ceredigion County Council's offices at Penmorfa

THREE former Ceredigion schools are to be sold following the backing of senior councillors.

Members of Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet, meeting on January 23, were recommended to back the disposal of the former primary schools at Beulah, Cribyn and Cilcennin.

A fourth potential sale, the former sewage treatment works at Pontgarreg had been withdrawn, members heard.

Back in 2019, councillors voted to close Beulah and Cilcennin Primary Schools – along with Trewen – because of falling pupil numbers and increasing costs, while Ysgol Cribyn ceased being a community school in 2009.

A report for members, presented by Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration Cllr Clive Davies outlined the potential disposals.

Members heard, in the case of Beulah, it was recommended to offer the building and yard for sale on the open market, the play area being currently leased to the community council, to be reviewed later when it is scheduled for renewal.

“Its location in the Teifi SAC catchment area, and the subsequent restrictions due to phosphate considerations have meant that opportunities to realise maximum value have been limited,” the report said, adding: “However, there remains interest from local businesses in purchasing the building for commercial use.”

Members also heard: “As a former school, the local community has been consulted about its potential use for community purposes. No specific interest has been highlighted for its use as a community facility. Local representatives have indicated potential interest among local businesses in purchasing the asset.”

Since its closure, Cribyn primary school has been used by local community groups for events and meetings, as there is an absence of any other community facility in the village.

A community group now hopes to buy it from the council, subject to funding.

Members agreed to offer the site for sale at “a fair market value,” the site having been valued at £175,000, for community use purposes initially, for a period of six months to enable the community group to advance its proposals.

In the case of Cilcennin, members heard the site had been empty since its closure, with interest shown by a local community group in purchasing it, subject to fundraising.

Members backed a recommendation that the site, valued at £160,000, be put on the open market, but be offered for sale for community use purposes initially, with a proviso that if subsequently sold a proportion of the uplift will be paid to the council.

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