PLANS are set to be announced to close the Ammanford campus at Coleg Sir Gar.

In a letter to Adam Price MS, minister for education Jeremy Miles MS confirmed that the Welsh Government was backing plans for investment in the Coleg Sir Gar campus at Pibwrlwyd. However, these would result in the closure of the Ammanford campus.

The proposed Pibwrlwyd campus development would receive Welsh Government funding through the Mutual Investment Model, which Mr Miles said would “provide state of the art facilities” as well as “additional recreational and wellbeing facilities”.

The college is now working with officials and technical advisors to finalise the plans, which will then be considered by the Welsh Government.

In the letter, Mr Miles said that the facilities at the Ammanford campus are “generally in poor or very poor condition” and are “costly to maintain” and “inefficient”.

The campus is also within a flood zone, which would limit any further development, Mr Miles said.

He added that he had been assured by the college that support would be in place for affected students and staff, and that transport for students from Ammanford to the Pibwrlwyd campus would be provided.

The closure of the Ammanford campus and the investment in the Pibwrlwyd campus would “ensure the long-term financial viability of the college”, the minister for education said.

The Ammanford campus was founded in 1927 and is focused on health, social and childcare as well as construction industry crafts.

It offers courses ranging from counselling to plastering, but would be forced to close under the plans described as “rationalisation of the college’s estate” by the minister.

Adam Price, Member of the Senedd for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr said: “Ammanford College has been a key institution in the town for almost 100 years; losing it during a time of austerity and economic uncertainty would be a devastating blow to any community, but for one of the county's most deprived communities it's an act of social vandalism. Mrs Thatcher had not even dared to go this far.

“How can the Welsh Labour Government support the removal of further education provision in Ammanford?

“This decision is incredibly harmful to the town and I call on the Minister to reconsider his support.”

Cefin Campbell, Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales which also covers Ammanford, said: “This decision will be deeply unpopular in the Amman Valley and I believe the Minister needs to consider the long-term effect this will have on pupils locally.”

Ann Davies, county councillor for Llanddarog and Plaid Cymru candidate for Caerfyrddin, said: “Ammanford College offers a fantastic service to pupils in the area, to close it would represent a massive blow to future generations.

“What message does it send to these future generations that they will have to travel away from the town to receive the education they desire?”

Coleg Sir Gar has been approached for comment.