PLANS for a new Welsh-medium primary school in Newport are set to be outlined in a consultation by the city council.

The £5.8million project would increase the current number of Welsh-medium primary school places across Newport by 50 per cent.

Under the plans the primary will open as a seedling school, temporarily located within the vacant infant building at Caerleon Lodge Hill from September 2020.

It will then take up its permanent home at the current site of Pillgwenlly Primary School in September 2022 – following a £3million refurbishment – as a two-form entry primary school with an immersion unit and learning resource base.

Pillgwenlly Primary would relocate to the former Whiteheads steelworks site, off Mendalgief Road in Pill, in early 2022.


But some have voiced concerns over the Welsh Government funded scheme.

Conservative councillor Joan Watkins said there is only a “moderate appetite” for a fourth Welsh-medium primary in Newport.

The Caerleon ward councillor said Newport is “not an area where the language has a high priority.”

“Some English speaking schools find themselves in fiscal difficulty while money is poured into Welsh speaking establishments creating an unfair imbalance,” councillor Watkins said.

“I and many others view this as unacceptable.

“This imbalance needs to be addressed following which the introduction of another Welsh school would be acceptable.”

However Newport Independent Party councillor Chris Evans said the argument funding for Welsh medium schools takes away from English speaking ones is “not factually correct.”

“I would urge colleagues to stop playing politics with our children’s future and work together to ensure no child is given up on, no child is left behind, no kid is forgotten, regardless of culture or the language they chose to speak,” he added.

Conservative Matthew Evans said funding should be made available equally for Welsh medium and English speaking schools across Newport.

“I welcome any funding from the Welsh Government for schools but the fact of the matter is a lot of schools are desperately crying out for some money and investment,” he added.

The project is part of Welsh Government plans to grow the number of Welsh speakers to one million by 2050 and aims to meet a “growing demand locally.”

Newport council is expected to formally agree to opening a 42-day consultation on the plans over the summer term next week, with a cabinet member decision due to be made on Tuesday.

The Welsh Government said it “fully supports” the council’s proposal for a fourth Welsh-medium primary school.

A spokesman said: “Demand for Welsh-medium education in Newport has been growing each year.

“A fourth Welsh-medium primary will ensure bilingual education is available across the area and help address the current inequality of access that currently exists.”