The First Minister was at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg in Blaina to officially open their new premises, which was opened to staff and pupils in September. The building is also home for the nursery school, Cylch Meithrin Helyg Bychan,
The school replaces Ysgol Gymraeg Brynmawr to provide education through the medium of Welsh for up to 360 children from the Blaenau Gwent area. The school has been built to the highest energy efficient and environmental standards and the Welsh Assembly Government has provided £3.6 million capital funding towards its construction.
The First Minister said:
"Yesterday’s budget announcement was challenging for Wales but I am pleased that we have been able to honour our commitment to protect health, social services, schools and skills and reaffirm our commitment to universal benefits including free breakfasts and milk for primary school children. We will also be continuing the roll out of the pioneering Foundation Phase for 3 to 7 year olds, which will be supported through additional funding over three years from 2011 – 12."
"This brand new state of the art school is an excellent example of a modern, environmentally-friendly school. With interest in the culture and language of Wales and demand for Welsh-medium education in this area extremely high, especially following the success of the National Eisteddfod in Ebbw Vale this summer, this school will be a landmark site in Blaenau Gwent and the Heads of the Valleys area, which gives the children and young people of the area a school fit for the 21st Century."
A pupil from the school, Alex Hoey, won a competition to name the school, with his winning suggestion being based on the original name for the Brynmawr area, Gwaun Helygen.