New Future for Education Centre

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is pleased to announce that a leading local charity has taken over the former Treorchy Education Centre which has become available after Council run services based there were relocated as part of service change proposals.

The Rhondda-based re-use and re-cycling charity toogoodtowaste is set to extend its highly-successful services into the Rhondda Fawr area from their existing Ynyshir headquarters, where their current operation provides warehousing, electrical and gas appliance testing workshops, a contact centre and training room.

It is envisaged that with the additional space, toogoodtowaste will   be able to increase the amount of collections they can offer, which will in turn reduce the amount of waste to landfill and provide even more safe, clean and affordable furniture for re-use back into local communities through their three retail outlets.

It is also hoped that the new facility will lead to increases in the number of paid employees, volunteers and work-based training opportunities.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Andrew Morgan, said: “Given the severely challenging financial climate we are operating in it is unfortunately inevitable that we have to make tough decisions about the services and the level of services we provide which may result in surplus land and buildings.

“Where we are no longer maintaining a facility we want to, wherever possible, look at engaging with the voluntary sector to see if they can keep facilities going for the benefit of the community.

“toogoodtowaste taking over the running of this facility will be beneficial for a number of reasons, not least through the creation of jobs and volunteering opportunities, and demonstrates precisely the kind of innovative and collaborative way of thinking that is required to minimise the impact of UK Government cuts to public spending on local communities.

Rhondda MP, Chris Bryant said: The impact of the UK Government cuts to public spending is clearly being felt across many communities as the Council has to rationalise its service provision based on what it can afford.

“However this move, which will see the expansion of an already highly successful social enterprise, will ensure that a building in the heart of the local community will continue to have a use and purpose which will support and benefit residents in the area.” 

toogoodtowaste’s Chief Executive Officer, Lynda Davies, added: “The income we generate from our Charity shops in Aberdare and Ynyshir now supports employment for 20 people and provides training and support to over 30 volunteers every day.

“Our new planned charity shop in Treorchy which is due to open in 2015, will allow us to help more people living in Rhondda Cynon Taf.  We look forward to continuing to work with the Council and are grateful for the help received.”

In 2013 toogoodtowaste diverted 364 tonnes of waste from landfill with over 35,000 items having been selected for re-use.

They were supported by 247 volunteers, of which 29 went on to secure paid employment from the skills and experience they gained whilst at toogoodtowaste.

It is hoped that as part of the development of this site, toogoodtowaste may be able to work with other voluntary groups and organisations, to maximise the benefit to the community.