A passionate meeting to discuss the future of the threatened Ammanford campus has been held.

The Coleg Sir Gar, known as a ‘Tech’ college wants to shut its facilities and relocate services to Pibwrlwyd campus on the outskirts of Carmarthen.

A meeting was held on Wednesday (March 27), arranged by local MS Adam Price, who asked for the decision to be reconsidered by mentioning the economic and social consequences of the potential closure.

Sian Thomas, former County Councillor for Penygroes, but still represent the area as their Councillor on Llandybie Community Council, was one of the most passionate speakers after attending Ammanford College in the past.

Cllr Thomas was a former lecturer in Ammanford Tech teaching Computer software in the Business department. 

Over 50 people attended the meeting, including representatives from Ammanford Town Council, Carmarthen County Council, and the Senedd.

What is being proposed?

In a letter to Adam Price MS in February, minister for education Jeremy Miles MS confirmed that the Welsh Government was backing plans for investment in the Coleg Sir Gar campus at Pibwrlwyd, which 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”.

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.

In response to Mr Miles' letter, Adam Price, Member of the Senedd for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr had 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.

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

What has the college said?

In a statement released last month, the college confirmed that the proposals had been “carefully considered”, and would allow it to “address the current challenges of an aging estate” and “ensure future financial stability”.

Coleg Sir Gâr has said that the investment in the Pibwrlwyd campus would “provide a contemporary, technologically-driven sustainable learning environment”.

A spokesperson for the college said: “Coleg Sir Gâr is working closely with the Welsh Government in planning a world-class campus development that promises to elevate the learner experience, ensure future financial stability, and contribute to the economic prosperity of Carmarthenshire.

“This planned campus development represents a step forward in our vision to offer industry-leading, top quality vocational education and training."