Black Mountains College, Talgarth and District Regeneration Group and Talgarth Town Council are delighted to announce that their joint bid to renovate the derelict Victorian school in Talgarth has secured the backing of the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The successful bid will see the provision of two new learning spaces, offices, kitchen and co-working facilities as well as growing space outside, for the use of both the college and the wider community.

Powys County Council’s Housing Department currently owns the building and have committed to a Community Asset Transfer to Black Mountains College working with Talgarth and District Regeneration Group to manage the building for college and community use. Both PCC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Matthew Dorrance and Head of Housing, Andy Thompson have been enthusiastic backers of the scheme, as has Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones.

Site meeting that took place earlier this month. (Left to right) Ben Rawlence; Fay Jones MP; Cllr William Powell; Vincent Stephens; Bryan George; Cllr Louise Elston-Reeves, Mayor of Talgarth. (Ann Seymour Photography)

 A consultation process collected views from a wide range of people and first identified the need for an anchor tenant to underpin the business case for the building. In 2023, Black Mountains College agreed to play that role and to raise the 20% match 

The College and Regeneration Group will now begin the tender process to appoint contractors and get the retrofit underway.

 Cllr William Powell, Powys County Councillor for Talgarth, who initiated the original consultation and led the campaign to save the Old School, said: ‘The campaign to save the Victorian School in Talgarth has been a cross community, regeneration scheme from the outset. The late Lord Richard Livsey of Talgarth was a pupil here in the 1940s. As Richard instigated the Regeneration Group back in 2005, this is also a fitting tribute to his legacy and his affection for his home town.’

Former pupil, the late Lord Richard Livsey of Talgarth.
Former pupil, the late Lord Richard Livsey of Talgarth. (Talgarth Regeneration Group)

 Cllr Louise Elston-Reeves, Mayor of Talgarth, added:‘Talgarth has experienced something of an exodus of businesses lately – and the town suffered enormously in the years following the closure of the former Mid Wales Hospital. This news will be a major boost to the heart of our town – and the council looks forward to playing its part in this ambitious project.’