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Cardiff Council Update: 17 November 2023

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Cardiff Market restoration go ahead - major £6.5m investment project now fully funded
  • Fitzalan High School - brand new facilities officially opened this week
  • Team of the Year award - Green Flag Parks UK names our Community Park Ranger team best of the best for 2023


Cardiff Market restoration to go ahead as full funding confirmed

A major restoration of Cardiff's historic Central Market is now fully funded, with work expected to begin in Summer 2024, after Cardiff Council successfully secured £3.1 million towards the project from the Welsh Government's Transforming Towns programme.

This follows on from the recent announcement of a £2.1 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The remainder of the restoration work will be funded via the Shared Prosperity Fund and direct investment from the Council.

A total of approximately £6.5 million will be invested in protecting, preserving and future-proofing the 130 year old, Grade II* Listed Victorian market.

Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas said: "The confirmation of this funding from Welsh Government is fantastic news. The Market is one of Cardiff's most important heritage buildings, as well as a vital city centre space for small independent traders. Anybody who has visited in recent years will know that it's a special place, with a unique atmosphere built on 130 years of history. Our restoration plans will preserve and protect that history and ensure that it remains the bustling heart of the city that we all know and love, for many years to come."

Read more here


The new Fitzalan High School is officially opened

Today, Fitzalan High School has been officially opened by Wales's First Minister Mark Drakeford, The Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas and Cardiff's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry.

The school staff, pupils and governors welcomed guests to the school including local politicians and representatives from Kier who played a key part in the school's construction.

The new £64m school was joint funded by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government, through the city's Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme.

The three-storey high school accommodates 1850 pupils and includes a community swimming pool and provision of four Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs). There are two 3G pitches available for rugby, football and hockey and the site also accommodates hard and soft play areas as well as a staff and visitor car park.

Construction first began in March 2021 and has closely involved ambassadors from the school who have regularly visited the site throughout its development, contributing their thoughts on the build and reporting progress back to other students. 

Cardiff Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "Marking the official opening of the new school is a significant milestone for pupils and staff at Fitzalan, as well as a transformation for the local community through new opportunities available at the school.

"I have enjoyed closely following the progress of the development despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, from initial design to seeing first-hand, the impressive new building that welcomed pupils at the beginning of term. 

"Representing a significant boost for the local area, the new school is an example of an urban and modern school building which will provide current and future generations with excellent facilities, opportunities and quality learning environments for years to come. A school to be proud of, I have no doubt the future of Fitzalan High School will continue to go from strength to strength."

Read more here


Community Park Ranger team wins ‘Team of the Year' award

Forest Farm Nature Reserve is home to kingfishers, herons, dragonflies, damselflies, bluebells, wild garlic, ancient woodland and now, the winners of the 2023 Green Flag parks UK ‘Team of the Year.' 

Based out of an old farmhouse at the edge of the Forest Farm reserve, Cardiff's Community Park Ranger are the latest winner of this ‘Best of the Best' award celebrating the teams which have made a real difference to the 2,216 parks and green spaces in the UK that have a Green Flag Award - the international quality standard which recognises and rewards well-managed green spaces.

Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke, said: "Our Community Ranger team have a wealth of environmental conservation experience and alongside some fantastic volunteers, they play a significant role in managing the wealth of different habitats we look after. Their knowledge and passion for nature is second-to-none and I'm delighted that they've been recognised with this award."

The Community Park Ranger team manage a variety of habitats at Forest Farm including wildflower meadows, woodland, hedgerow, wetlands, an orchard, and a new tree nursery area, established as part of Cardiff Council's mass-tree planting programme, Coed Caerdydd.

They also run a series of events and volunteering opportunities throughout the year aimed at increasing public engagement with nature.

Read more here