With the public looking to spend more time outside schools nationwide are looking at their footprint and working with specialists to ensure that they maximise year-round use of their outside space. One such firm is Fordingbridge Plc; a West Sussex based engineering firm, specialising in canopies and covered walkways.
“We have long worked with educators to help them increase the use of their outside space, and it is clear that the situation has hit home for many teachers,” explains Fraser Dixon, Business Development Manager at the firm. “Our regular installations cover a multitude of situations, whether it be an enclosed courtyard to create an additional dining space, or covering a MUGA for weather-protected sport, but the need among teachers for taking their lessons outside has been very clear.”
Trading over five decades, the firm specialise in the installation of a range of canopy structures, from simple tensile walkways and playground covers, to more elaborate designs capable of covering entire MUGAs and even enclosing courtyards to create weatherproof central atriums.
“As a business we are perfectly placed to work both with schools directly and through contractors and architects,” Dixon continues. “Historically canopy manufacturers were too often specified solely on price, leading to an increase in the amount of resellers who only installed standard, uninspiring structures in a range of predefined sizes. There was no nod given to quality, and therefore overall value, of the structures as they were simply ticking a box. The situation is now swinging, with architects, contractors and schools alike looking for quality and longevity in their canopies, along with more inspiring designs be it steel, tensile or a glulam timber structure. As we design and manufacture our canopies from under one roof, we can ensure the design meets the brief and the quality is second to none.”