A £12m package has been approved by Aberystwyth University as a part of refurbishing the historic Pantycelyn student hall of residence. The University's Council discussions led to their agreement that the funding is expected to upgrade the hall for Welsh-speaking students and should include 200 en-suite bedrooms as well as communal spaces to be used by all students and the local community.
Ceredigion County Council will receive the university's resubmission of a planning application after requesting to include a sprinkler system to the fire strategy proposed for the building. As a part of its 21st Century Schools and Education Programme, the Welsh Government has designated £5m to the project.
The decision reflected the university's lingering and deep-rooted commitment to the Welsh language and culture, as the Chancellor and Chair of Council Sir Emyr Jones Parry said. Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said: “ Pantycelyn has a long and distinguished history and I’m pleased that plans are in place to reopen the halls by 2019.
“Subject to final approvals, this funding from our 21 st Century Schools and Education Programme has the potential to transform the halls and offer a modern new home for future generations of students.”
The university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure, said: “I am delighted that Council members have approved this funding package which takes us a step closer to reopening Neuadd Pantycelyn.
"This refurbishment will be an investment in the future of Welsh-speaking students for generations to come and a unique addition to the excellent portfolio of student accommodation offered at Aberystwyth.
“I thank the Welsh Government for their generous support for this Grade-2 listed building which has been a social and cultural hub for Welsh-speaking students since the 1970s.”