Cardiff Council Update: 09 February 2024

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Official ceremony celebrates start of work to build a pioneering education campus in Fairwater
  • Park tennis courts in Cardiff set for refurbishment
  • Junior Chef Academy graduation marks culinary triumph for Cardiff West Community High School pupils
  • A new illustrated storybook to help children to overcome trauma


Work officially commences on new pioneering education campus in Fairwater

A special ground-breaking ceremony has marked the start of construction of a new pioneering joint education campus, to be located in the Fairwater area of the city.

The £110m project is the largest in scale and investment, of Cardiff's education developments delivered under Cardiff Council and Welsh Governments Band B Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme. The development will include the construction of three new build schools for Cantonian High School, Riverbank School and Woodlands High School, all situated on a single site.

The ground was cut at the site by Wales's First Minister Mark Drakeford, Cardiff Council's Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas and Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry.

They were joined by Head of School at Cantonian High School, Geraint Jones and Chair of Governors Barbara Connell together with Executive Headteacher, Wayne Murphy and Chair of Governors Bianca Rees from the Western Learning Federation, of which Riverbank School and Woodlands High School are both a part of.

Also in attendance were representatives from HLM Architects and ISG the contractors chosen to undertake the detailed design and build for the scheme.

The development will be Net Zero Carbon in line with Welsh Government standards and will set the standard for future Cardiff school projects. Each of the three schools will be highly energy efficient buildings that are powered from renewable energy sources, enabling Cardiff to deliver on its One Planet Strategy, which outlines the city's ambition to mitigate climate change.

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Park tennis courts in Cardiff set for refurbishment

Tennis courts at six parks in Cardiff will undergo a complete transformation for the benefit of local residents as part of a partnership between Cardiff Council and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

The tennis courts at Heath Park, Roath Park Pleasure Gardens and Hailey Park will all benefit from resurfacing, repainting and new nets, as will Llandaff Fields, Victoria Park and Rumney Hill Gardens, as announced by the Council last year.

Over £730,000 is being invested as part of this boost to local sports facilities, with £516,000 coming through the LTA's Park Tennis Project and the remaining funds from Sport Wales and Cardiff Council.                           

The refurbishments are part of the LTA's Park Tennis Project, through which it is delivering a £30million investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation to transform thousands of courts across Wales, Scotland and England. Over 1,500 courts have been completed so far as part of the project.

The refurbishments at all six locations - including eight existing but currently unplayable courts at Llandaff Fields - and the development of two new courts at each of Rumney Hill Gardens and Hailey Park, are due to begin in the coming weeks, with the new and improved facilities ready to use ahead of Wimbledon.

A combination of free and low cost tennis is expected to be introduced across the sites, which will be operated by Tennis Wales in the Park using a model similar to that which has run successfully at Heath Park for several years. Currently, Family Passes at Heath Park cost £39 per year, Student Passes are £19 per year and hourly hire is available for more casual groups of players, at £4.50 per court per hour.

These hire costs compare favourably to netball, hockey, football, rugby, squash and other sports in the city. The proceeds will be used to ensure the courts remain well maintained in the future.

Alongside this, Cardiff Council and Tennis Wales in the Park will also work with the LTA to run a calendar of free trial opportunities, open days and free coaching throughout the year. This will include weekly organised free park tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience where equipment is provided, meaning that people will not need someone to play with or their own racket. Local Tennis Leagues will also provide friendly, sociable, opportunities to get active through local competition. 

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Whipping Up Success: Junior Chef Academy graduation marks culinary triumph for Cardiff West Community High School Pupils

The Junior Chef Academy, delivered by Compass Cymru in collaboration with Cardiff and Vale College as part of a Cardiff Commitment led initiative, is celebrating the graduation of ten budding young chefs from Cardiff West Community High School.

Selected for showing interest in the culinary and hospitality industry, the group of pupils aged 14-15 years have been immersed in a 10-week intensive program, engaging them in the culinary arts. The course has combined theoretical knowledge with practical skills and has covered a range of areas including knife skills, salads and healthy eating, bread, meat, fish dishes, poultry and desserts.

The programme has included masterclasses delivered by Compass Cymru Chefs and college technicians providing immersive sessions to demonstrate challenges and triumphs within the culinary field. Through partnership with local colleges and stadiums, pupils have also accessed expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to nurture opportunities and further education pathways.

The aspiring chefs have showcased their newfound skills at a grand graduation event held at Cardiff City Stadium where they designed and prepared a three-course meal served to an audience of more than 40 guests including parents, carers, college and school representatives and local authority dignitaries. Each graduate was honoured with a certificate, set of chef knives and a goody bag generously supported by Compass Cymru. The programme has been sponsored by Brakes who provided the food and chef whites.

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Hare's story to help schoolchildren overcome traumatic experiences

Every primary school in Cardiff is to receive an illustrated storybook which focuses on supporting children to overcome trauma.

Written and painted by Welsh art psychotherapist, Lilith Gough, ‘Helping the Hare who hurts' is a small volume that will be a useful resource for schools in the city to read with children who have experienced any kind of trauma. The Council has paid for the books with donations received as part of its White Ribbon campaign to raise awareness of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The book, which will also be available in every library across the city, tells the story of Hare's day in their woodland neighbourhood where they meet a series of animal friends.  Each one teaches Hare an important skill to help Hare be calmer and recognise that Hare's life is now safe.  Along the way, Hare learns about different stabilising tools that are important for any survivor of trauma.

Hare attempts to practice his skills and the reader is encouraged to do so too. A strong theme of the story is Hare's realisation that he is safe and to accept that the challenging times are over.

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