Welsh village dubbed ‘Cheshire-by-the-Sea’ because number of holiday homes snapped up by wealthy owners loses last-ditch battle to save school with just seven pupils left

  • Abersoch is dubbed ‘Cheshire-by-the-Sea’ due to number of second home sales
  • Ysgol Abersoch saw a drop in pupil numbers, leaving only seven students at the school.
  • Councillors voted to close school, saying it was costing them £17,000 per pupil 

Residents in a Welsh village, dubbed ‘Cheshire-by-the-Sea’ because of the number of holiday homes snapped up by wealthy owners, have lost a last-ditch battle to save their local school. 

Abersoch villagers have petitioned council leaders to maintain their primary school open despite the fact that pupil numbers are down from 32 to seven.

Residents claim that families from the village have suffered because of people buying up second-homes on the coast.

Council chiefs proposed plans to close Ysgol Abersoch’s primary school in January, prompting protests by angry villagers.

Councillors decided to close the school despite repeated requests from local residents. 

The school closing is feared to cause a void in the heart of the community.

One woman said, “Without the school Abersoch’s focal point the entire heart and soul will be gone.”

Villagers in Abersoch have been petitioning council bosses to keep their primary school (pictured) open, despite pupil numbers dwindling from 32 to just seven

Abersoch villagers have petitioned council bosses for their primary school to remain open (pictured), despite the fact that pupil numbers are down from 32 to seven.

Residents in Abersoch (pictured) say families in the village, which has a population of around 700, say families have been priced out by people snapping up coastal properties for second homes.

Abersoch’s residents claim their families are being priced out by coastal property buyers who have taken over 700 families.

Another stated that leaving Abersoch with no primary school would make it a tourist destination for just a few months and then a ghost-town for the rest of the year.

After three students quit the school, the battle for the survival of the school started. Six full-time students were left and only one child was in the nursery school.

There are 32 students in the primary school. The village, however is considered a ghost-town for large parts the year by locals due to an influx in holiday home owners.

Local residents claim that outsiders bought second homes in their village, putting them out of business.

The community has now earned the nickname Cheshire-on-Sea, a reference to affluent Cheshire villages such as Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Prestbury – home to wealthy executives and football stars.

The drop in pupils has led to a decrease in their numbers. Gwynedd Council said it was costing £17,404 per head to keep the school running.

This is more than four times the county average of £4,198. Therefore, the school was closed in January.

The battle to save the school began when three pupils left before the start of term - leaving just six full-time students and one nursery school pupil. Pictured: A banner for Ysgol Abersoch

Three students left the school before term started. This left only six students full-time and one pupil in nursery school. The school was saved by the battle against the odds. Photo: A banner to Ysgol Abersoch

The closure was opposed by two petitions that attracted over 3,000 signatures. 

After protests against the takingover of the area by holiday homes, it is now official.

The protestors tried to rescue the school last minute by making a claim that the pupil number information was incorrect.

However, council chiefs rejected their appeals and said that the school would close at Christmas.