THE Urdd Centre at Llangrannog is to benefit from a multi-million pound investment from the Welsh Government.

Today (Thursday, October 11) in a special event at Llangrannog Urdd centre, Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education will announce £2.75m funding which will go towards Urdd chief executive Siân Lewis’ vision to develop and renovate Llangrannog, near Cardigan, and Glan-llyn residential centres.

Urdd Gobaith Cymru will provide match-funding of £2.75m to take the overall total to £5.5m, of which £3.5m will be allocated to revamping the Llangrannog site, the ambitious plans for which were revealed by the Tivyside back in March.

The £5.5 million will enable Glan-llyn, in Snowdonia, to develop a brand new educational centre and upgrade the water sports training centre, while Llangrannog will be able to implement the plans to transform key infrastructure.

The current wooden buildings have serviced the centre well for decades but cannot cope anymore with the demands of varying groups.

The investment will create a solid foundation for the centre to perform efficiently and effectively for its size and useability. As a result, the centre will be able to respond to the demand while providing a high-quality educational offer to schools and groups. Additionally, it will increase the numbers that will be be able to visit the centre daily and weekly.

Today, 56 per cent of all Welsh schools attend Urdd centres on residential courses, and of those who visited over the past three years, 26 per cent came from the 20 per cent most deprived communities in Wales.

More second language Welsh schools visit the centres than first language Welsh schools, which demonstrates their value as an access point to the Welsh language.

Confirming Welsh Government’s investment in the scheme, the Education Secretary said: “It’s my pleasure to announce this funding, under the 21st Century Schools Programme, for the development of Urdd facilities in Glan-Llyn and Llangrannog.

“Modernising education infrastructure plays a key part in raising standards and delivering on our national mission. The Urdd plays a vital role in providing yearlong learning opportunities for young people in Wales.

“They also make a vital contribution to creating children who are social and healthy, and use the Welsh language outside of school.”

Siân Lewis said: “I would like to thank the Education Secretary for supporting our vision for developing Glan-llyn and Llangrannog to be pioneering, modern centres which support ‘learning outside the classroom’.

“This concept enables children and young people to learn, develop personally and socially, and through Urdd centres this will all be achieved while at the same time increasing their confidence in their use of the Welsh language.

“Thanks to this substantial matching investment from Welsh Government, the Urdd will be able to improve facilities and resources, create new jobs in rural Wales, upgrade infrastructure and create a fantastic enviorment in which to encourage effective learning t for future generations of Welsh children and young people.”

The £2.75m capital investment has been signed off as part of the two-year budget agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

With 47,000 annual visitors and a turnover of £5.2 million, Llangrannog and Glan-llyn currently employ 160 staff between them. This funding will ensure new employment opportunities to include 12 new apprenticeships.

It is anticipated that the increase in visitors at the centres will result in an additional £1.3m in turnover for Urdd Gobaith Cymru.