Bridgend College submits plans for an all-new town centre campus

Plans to create a new multi-million pound campus for Bridgend College at the heart of Bridgend town centre have moved a step closer.

The college has submitted pre-application planning proposals to Bridgend County Borough Council outlining how it wants to develop an all-new learning and skills campus at Cheapside.

This would involve constructing brand new premises using land currently occupied by the town centre police station, which has already been purchased by the council for this purpose, and a nearby former multi-storey car park which closed in April 2021 due to serious structural faults.

With police activities at the site moving to alternative town centre premises and their main offices on Cowbridge Road, the council and the college are working together in partnership to develop the new learning and skills campus, which will act as an anchor project within the regeneration plans and make Bridgend town a unique destination for state-of-the-art learning and training opportunities.

Taking advantage of parallel plans for developing enhanced public transport links within the town which will make it easier for people to access its facilities, the new campus is intended to support local businesses and generate fresh investment by significantly increasing town centre footfall.

The proposal is part of the council’s Regeneration Masterplan, which identifies a series of ambitious and deliverable projects over the next 10 years that will support future economic growth and secure greater benefits and opportunities for Bridgend town and the county borough.

Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “Confirmation that pre-application plans have now been formally submitted for consideration is excellent news.

“Acquiring the site and preparing it for development already represents a £1.3m investment into the town centre, £910,000 of which is being provided through Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme, and once completed, the intention is to lease the site to Bridgend College to enable the relocation to take place.

“As well as illustrating the ambitious plans of Bridgend College for expanding and improving the quality and range of learning and training opportunities within the county borough, it also demonstrates how the council’s regeneration masterplan is striving to work alongside key partners to deliver significant and long-term positive change for the town centre.

“Developing a new campus with modern educational facilities is going to attract more people into the county borough, and given the close proximity of the former multi-storey site, it makes sense for the college to include it as part of its plans, too.

“At the same time, the council will be commissioning a new car parking study for the whole of Bridgend County Borough. This will look at current provision within the town centre area, and whether additional capacity will be required.

“Ultimately, this proposal seeks to bring higher and further education into the town centre where it will be closer to retail, leisure and transport hubs. This is both a fantastic opportunity and a regeneration cornerstone, and I am looking forward to seeing how the plans develop further.”