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Happy Birthday

Neath Port Talbot College (NPTC) kicked off its 80th birthday celebrations at its brand new £6M state-of-the-art sports facility today with the help of the high flying Swans.

Players, Tom Butler, Angel Rangel and Andrea Orlandi visited the two-storey facility which includes a multi-functional national standard hard court sports hall and climbing wall together with classrooms and changing facilities along with an indoor bounding track, an outside Multi Use Games Area and an IRB standard 3G artificial outdoor pitch. It's been built on land next to the existing Llandarcy Academy of Sport and Learning. The whole site is operated by Llandarcy Park Ltd which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of NPTC.

As part of the anniversary, NPTC is not only celebrating its past with a commemorative book and mini exhibition, the College is also leading on the "Following the Flame" Olympic exhibition which will culminate in a large exhibition at the Llandarcy Academy of Sport and Learning. The College is also looking to the future with several projects in the pipeline which include:

A residential centre to provide blind and partially sighted people in Wales in partnership with the RNIB. The first centre in the UK to provide education and specialist employment transition within the same facility.

·An exciting enterprise and innovation centre to encourage future entrepreneurs which will include a recruitment agency to help students get voluntary, holiday and temporary work. The centre will help NPTC students to be either more experienced and job ready, or able to provide unique personal statements for university applications.

Principal of the College, Mark Dacey, said: "The Llandarcy Academy of Sport and Learning provides the best quality facilities in Wales, by far. NPTC has an enviable reputation in sport all over the world. Five of the current Welsh World Cup Rugby Squad are ex-students of the College. We are very proud of their achievements.

"All of our students 'rub shoulders' with some of the most famous rugby, soccer and netball players in Wales, reinforcing the quality of the facilities. In fact, the Welsh Netball under 21s squad will be playing an international match against Singapore at the Academy on 9 November.

"I wonder if W. G. Howell, the first Principal of NPTC in 1931, could have imagined such a world-class facility being part of the College?"

Pic cap: Happy Birthday : Swansea City players Tom Butler, Angel Rangel and Andrea Orlandi helped kick start 80th birthday celebrations at NPTC. They were joined by College Principal Mark Dacey and College Governor Shahjan Mohammed along with Level 2 Bakery students Jenson Rees and Caitlin Darney, who were part of a team that helped bake a special cake for the celebrations.