21st Century SchoolsVale 21stC Schools Logo with Strap (Transparent) Community Benefits

As part of the programme to refurbish and build new schools, the construction contractors will collaborate with third and public sector projects to deliver a range of community benefits.


The Council’s 21st Century Schools programme aims to provide long-term social, environmental and economic benefits to schools and the wider community.

To achieve these wider programme aims, our appointed contractors are required to deliver on a range of community benefits targets.

The targets are set as part of the procurement process and are consistently higher than the minimum required by Welsh Government.

Targets include;

  • Supporting small local businesses;

  • Training and upskilling new workforce entrants;

  • School STEM engagements; and

  • Wider community in-kind support


Examples of community benefits delivered in Band A

The community benefits delivered under Band A of the 21st Century Schools Programme have already contributed towards the sustainable development of the Vale of Glamorgan by supporting improvements in economic, social, and environmental well-being. Some of the outcomes are as follows:

  • Over £12,000 worth of engagement sessions with schools, enabling children to learn about the exciting world of construction.

  • 15,637 weeks-worth of new entrant employment, apprenticeships, and training, helping more people get into work.

  • Supported local organisations with donations of equipment or labour, creating better community spaces.

St Cyres - Trees

Further information about the community benefits achieved during Band A can be found on the main 21st Century Schools page.



Community benefits delivered so far in Band B

Contractors were appointed for the Barry Secondary Learning Community (BSLC) scheme in early 2019 and for the Western Vale Primary (WVP) scheme in 2020, community benefits are being delivered alongside construction works. A contractor has also recently been appointed for the Cowbridge Primary Provision and Centre for Learning and Wellbeing (CLWB) schemes and will start to contribute towards wider community benefits. For more information about these schemes, visit the main 21st Century Schools webpage.

Between January 2019 – September 2021, the programme has delivered:

  • Over 11,600 person weeks of New Entrant Jobs;

  • Over 6,100 person weeks of New Entrant Training;

  • Over 3,300 hours of school STEM engagements;

  • 11 supply chain engagement events;

  • 82% construction spend within Wales (average);

  • 91% of subcontractors based in Wales; and

  • 50% of the workforce coming from the local postcode

Download the following resources for further information about the community benefits delivered so far in Band B: 

Litter pick group photo
PLC - Pupil Site Visit

Community History Trails

To celebrate Community History Month in May, we launched three community history trails starting at our three Barry Secondary Learning Communities schools; Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg, Pencoedtre High School and Whitmore High School. Ideas have been submitted by the local community and each point on the trail celebrates an important historical event, landmark, or significant figure in Barry. Take a leisurely walk along one or challenge yourself by completing all three.

Pencoedtre High School Route and Information

Whitmore High School Route and Information

Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg Route and Information

If you would like to share any photos from the trail, please use the hashtag #BarryCommunityHistoryTrail


Community benefits opportunities in Band B

The 21st Century Schools team would like to maximise contributions to community benefits in Band B by engaging with a wide range of third and public sector organisations.


If your project involves improving outcomes for people, the environment, and/or the local economy, you may be eligible to benefit from the 21st Century Schools Community Benefits scheme.

What’s on offer through the community benefits scheme:

  • In-kind donations and volunteer time on projects;

  • Opportunities for work experience and training placements within construction sector (including on-site and digital skills); and

  • Business advice and guidance to small and medium enterprises and upskilling activities for staff and volunteers


Get in touch if you want to connect your service users to work experience opportunities, need extra hands planting a community garden, need project management advice to get your local heritage celebration off the ground, or have other ideas to improve life in the Vale. 

  • What projects will be eligible?

    Support is available to projects, organisations, or social enterprises within the third or public sectors.

    Projects involved in improving outcomes for people, the environment, and/or the local economy.

    Projects with disadvantaged service users who would most benefit from training and employment opportunities (such as the long term unemployed and 16-24 year olds Not in Education, Employment or Training).

    The scheme covers the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan.


    Preferred support will be given for projects benefitting the whole community but small local projects are also welcome to apply.



  • What does ‘in-kind’ support mean? 
    ‘In-kind’ support refers to volunteer time or help with work experience. For example, the contractors could provide general help clearing a site for a new garden area or specialist advice on bidding for funding. Further information about work experience opportunities is available below. 
  • What projects have previously been accepted? 
    A wide range of projects have previously been accepted and we would like to encourage further diversity in project types. Previously accepted projects have included; holding coffee mornings for MacMillan, painting a scout hut, help with procuring tarmac for a church driveway, clearing and planting a community garden, building a recycled plastic bottle greenhouse, providing talks on construction to care home residents, and hosting training events to help women get into construction. 
  • What work experience is available for service users? 
    Work experience is available on sites or within office environments. A standardised work experience format has been developed across the 21st Century School sites to ensure it is meaningful. However, work experience could be tailored depending upon the applicant’s level of experience, interests and skills, this would be discussed in more detail with the contractors at the time. Applicants may be able to gain experience across numerous locations. Experience in office environments could include areas of finance, digital skills, and project management.  
  • What are the timescales for support? 

    Free support is available between April 2019 – January 2022 for the Barry Secondary Learning Community scheme (contractors Bouygues, ISG and Morgan Sindall).

    Timeframes will aim to match the requirements of the project and construction progress (e.g. if you would like a community bench repaired then this could be scheduled for a period where carpenters are working on-site).

    Projects wishing to take part in the Barry comprehensive schemes must be completed by January 2022.

    Further community benefits project application dates will be announced once Band B schools have been confirmed. 

  • Are there application rounds? 
    There are no fixed rounds for applications, projects are welcome to apply at any time before January 2022. Further details about the application process and timescales are available below. 
  • What is the process for applications? 
    The project fills in an application form and sends it to 21stcenturyschools@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk.
    Independent volunteers from the community benefits steering group review the application for general suitability (e.g. whether project operates within the Vale, timescales etc).



    Scores from the initial appraisal are calculated and short-listed applications are sent to the contractors.

    At this stage the 21st Century Schools team will let the project know whether it has been shortlisted.

    The contractors discuss the application at the monthly community benefits meeting and determine whether it is feasible to support the project.

    The 21st Century Schools team will let the project know whether it has been accepted (please note the project could be accepted in full, in part or with minor adjustments).

    If the project is accepted the 21st Century Schools team will connect the relevant project contacts with the lead contractor to discuss further details and next steps.

    Any projects not accepted are provided with feedback from the 21st Century Schools team and are welcome to reapply.

  • Will the whole application be accepted? 
    Not necessarily, a project application could be fully accepted, accepted in part or accepted with minor adjustments. The 21st Century Schools team and contractors will work with projects to accommodate their needs as far as possible but may be limited by time or resources available. For example, a project may request assistance with work experience for a higher number of service users than can be accommodated on the sites, the application may still be accepted but with adjustments. The contractors could also provide ideas not included within the application for other or additional ways to help based on their experience. As a general guide, the more details provided within the application the easier it will be to understand the project requirements and make adjustments early on. 
  • How long will it take to know whether the project has been accepted? 
    We aim to let projects know whether they have been shortlisted within two weeks and whether they have been accepted by the contractors within four weeks. If these timeframes are not possible the 21st Century Schools team will let projects know as soon as possible. 
  • Can I reapply? 
    Projects which have not been accepted at either the shortlisting or contractor stages are welcome to reapply at any time. We would ask that projects review their feedback and make any recommended changes to their application. 


Community projects supported so far in Band B


Ysgol Gwaun Y Nant

Contractor ISG supported the school with the help of local contractor Landcraft. The site team spent two days on the school grounds, clearing the overgrowth and breathing life back into its wildlife area. This area will be used for exciting outdoor education, supporting pupil wellbeing and knowledge of the natural world.

ISG Gwaun Y Nant Community Garden 4
ISG Gwaun Y Nant Community Garden 2
ISG Gwaun Y Nant Community Garden 3


Palmerston Centre for Lifelong Learning

Contractor Morgan Sindall worked with Palmerston Centre for Lifelong Learning to help them improve their outdoor spaces. The team upgraded a path and built some impressive accessible raised planters, complete with safety fence. This will be a great outdoor space for those using the centre.

MS Palmerston AL Centre Community Garden 1
Palmerston Centre - raised beds food growing
Palmerston Centre - raised beds onions


Get involved...


Download and complete the application form below:


Application Form


Please direct any queries and return completed forms to:

If your project is chosen the team will put you in touch with the relevant partners to start the next steps. 



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