Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Could Coleg Harlech reemerge as a Welsh Medium training college?

As some who greatly benefited (Indeed it changed my life)  with the news that Coleg Harlech is to  close, leaving uncertainty for dozens of students and staff.
Coleg Harlech’s Wern Fawr site, which has been open for 90 years, will cease to provide education for adult learners from September.
The future of the stunning grade-II listed building is now uncertain.
In 2013 Coleg Harlech had to sell off 350 pieces of art in an attempt to relieve some of its £900,000 debt and a feasibility study into the future of the college took place in 2015.
Despite those warning signs, the announcement came as a shock to the whole town as even the community council, which met on Monday night, had not been informed of the imminent closure.
Talks with Coleg Harlech staff are to take place this week, with dozens of students and staff set to be affected by the changes.ynedd councillor Caerwyn Roberts admitted he was “very disappointed” by the news.
“We’re all very disappointed. It mentions services will be ‘relocated’ but I hope that those doing the relocating realise that Meirionnydd is amongst the poorest areas in the UK,” he said.
“Relocating to Bangor or Caernarfon does nothing for us. Losing jobs from the area is the last thing we need. I’m hoping they give that notion due consideration.”
Dwyfor Meirionnydd’s AM Dafydd Elis-Thomas hopes the Welsh Government will fund a feasibility study into future use of the site.
Such is the depervation of the College over the years, which some may claim were made first by enforced merger with the WEA, that the Old accommodation Block is derelict  and ambitious plans to replace it came to nothing

 Harlech residents have resomably launched a petition  fu the demolition and redevelopment of the St David's Hotel and Coleg Harlech accommodation block. Both buildings are a grotesque blight on the beautiful surrounding area. With the imminent closure of the the Coleg Harlech buildings we respectfully call upon the Welsh Assembly Government, Gwynedd Council and Snowdonia National Park Authority to:
1. enforce the demolition order on the hotel without further delay; 2. serve a demolition order on the accommodation block at the earliest possible opportunity; 3. work to facilitate with the owners of the hotel and college sites a comprehensive redevelopment, including appropriate use of the historic college buildings, with the aim of delivering a top class resort (holiday apartments, hotel, restaurant, conference and leisure facilities). Harlech has been waiting too long. It is time for action now!
Is there a future for Harlech as a centre for Education?

Well if we had a government  with ambition in Cardiff Bay, there could be.

I would like to see the Welsh Government take over the site and turn it into a Teacher Training college specialising in the teaching through the medium of Welsh. Not only future Teachers but helping those  who are non-welsh speakers who are involved in Education "cross the bridge " and become fluent in Welsh.

Indeed the College motto "a fo ben bid bont" He would be a leader let him be a bridge could take on a new meaning.

If the Welsh Labour Government are serious with a drive to almost double the number of Welsh speakers to one million by 2050 then it will need to train far more Teachers to teach through the Medium of Welsh at all levels including Universities.
If they were to look for a place to create the people who wil  carry ithis forward then Harlech  with its history of education and situation in one of the strongest Welsh Speaking parts of Wales would be ideal.

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