Torfaen Learning Zone building

Starting the New Year in our New Campus – Torfaen Learning Zone

8 December 2020

After a difficult year in the midst of a global pandemic that’s affected us all, we’re excited to end the year on a more positive note by announcing that our Torfaen Learning Zone is set to open just after Christmas. We’ll be starting the New Year in our brand new state-of-the-art campus in the heart of Cwmbran on 4th January 2021 and we can’t wait to welcome you through its doors.

Torfaen Learning Zone is part of the Welsh Government 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme. Managed and run by Coleg Gwent in partnership with Torfaen County Borough Council, the learning zone replaces three English medium school sixth forms in the borough and will be home to all A Level education in Torfaen. It will also offer the Welsh Baccalaureate and a range of complementary level 2 and 3 qualifications, bringing further education services together under one roof for Torfaen.

Despite the uncertainty of COVID-19, the build of the new campus made good progress this year and has come a long way since the original announcement made to all staff, learners and the wider community back in June 2018.

The Journey to Torfaen Learning Zone

  • In November 2018, although the foundations were well underway, we saw the ceremonial sod cutting of Torfaen Learning Zone and it was a landmark day for both Coleg Gwent and Torfaen Council.

Principal in front of TLZ hoarding

  • In September 2019, we ‘topped out’ in a special ceremony to mark the important milestone in the £24 million development. We held a roof top ceremony with Torfaen Council to celebrate.

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a pause on building work during the lockdown period in the interest of safety, which meant the building work was slightly behind. So, in June 2020, the decision was made for all staff and learners for the Torfaen Learning Zone to begin the new term in our Pontypool campus.
  • Then, in September 2020, the site was officially handed over to Coleg Gwent staff and arrangements were made to start fitting all of the furniture and equipment.
  • October 2020 marked an important milestone as we saw our learners visit the site to see the finished campus before moving there in January 2021.

Principal Guy Lacey said “we are all tremendously excited in the College about the opening of the new Torfaen Learning Zone in January. It will be an amazing place to learn and study and we can’t wait to see our students using it. It has been a long process to get here – but in January, thanks to our great partners in Torfaen, we’ll be open. The pandemic may have delayed things, but it hasn’t stopped us from getting to the goal of having an amazing new College for all the young people and adult learners of Torfaen.”

Following a similar model to the Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone in Ebbw Vale, the building will be fully accessible and will include specialist facilities for pupils with Additional Learning Needs (ALN). The campus is bright, light and airy with modern amenities and facilities – an ideal environment for learning and inspiring young minds. The Learning Zone’s prime location next to the Morrisons store in the town centre is also easily accessible for learners and staff, with excellent links to public transport and local facilities.

Leader of Torfaen Council, Councillor Anthony Hunt said: ‘Torfaen Learning Zone will help secure a more sustainable way of delivering post 16 education in Torfaen. Our motivation as always is our learners, and making sure they will be able to access the broadest possible curriculum and quality of provision into the future.’

You can learn about our new campus and the courses on offer here, and if you’re thinking of joining us as a learner, register for our next virtual open event now.