Students and teachers at Martin High School are enjoying a beautiful new classroom block at their school in Anstey, Leicestershire.

Classroom space for the Humanities department was limited. The department’s classrooms were far too spread out across the site, which was not the ideal learning environment to deliver the desired curriculum. The school sought to replace an old, small pre-fabricated block of classrooms with a modern bespoke building to serve as a centralised Humanities hub.

Through a competitive tender process overseen by Surveyors 2 Education, Wernick Buildings was awarded the project by the Lionheart Educational Trust.

A two-storey modular building was a more cost-effective solution for the Trust. The client remarked that a modular option allowed them to get more value for money across all project operations. It was also a more time-efficient choice. Unlike traditional buildings, a modular classroom block is manufactured and assembled in a controlled factory environment in a matter of weeks, drastically reducing the time spent onsite.


Wernick provided a full turnkey solution, complete with the demolition of the existing building and a full internal and external services package. To ensure that the building not look out of place, the block was designed to match the existing architecture of the surrounding buildings.

Each of the building’s 20 modules were manufactured in Wernick’s dedicated facility in South Wales. The offsite manufacture of the building modules in a factory environment gave the project several advantages. Firstly, the building could be constructed at the same time as the foundations were being prepared onsite, dramatically reducing disruption on the school site, and allowing students to continue learning without interference. Manufacture was also not affected by site conditions like the weather, making the programme even more reliable. This was vitally important for the school, with the building deadline being set within the academic school year.

Wernick’s manufacturing process was also a sustainable option for the client. The controlled conditions used to build modular units means almost no waste goes to landfill. Everything is filtered for recycling, and what can’t be recycled is shredded and distributed to a local “energy from waste” plant.

Once complete, the modules were transported to the school in Leicestershire via lorry. Due to the tight footprint of the site, the client worked closely with building crews to make sure there was sufficient space to proceed. The Wernick team proposed using a retaining wall to assist with the tight logistics of the area. Modules were then craned into position and bolted together to form the core of the building. A robust brick-skin cladding was later added to the core to give a more traditional construction appearance which perfectly matched the existing campus buildings.

Construction on the project was completed in October 2022. Both students and teachers continuously say that the block “looks like a traditional building.” External features include a large frontal canopy, an exterior staircase and curtain walling. It also has been outfitted with an energy-efficient heating and ventilation system. The interior is equipped with a customised, technology-rich IT suite, five spacious classrooms and several staff offices. Other indoor features include toilets and accessible toilets on each floor, an accessible platform lift next to the stairs, and storage areas.

Users of the building say they are enjoying the new teaching block. Oliver Willis, Project Manager at the Lionheart Educational Trust said,


“the feedback from the building’s users has been very positive. They are very thankful to have this building. There is great quality throughout the building. Students are able to learn and thrive in the space.”


Wernick Buildings has decades of experience in delivering modular solutions in the education sector and is highly skilled at working around live academic building settings. Design, manufacture and site teams are located in-house, providing you with a single point of contact for peace of mind throughout the project. Wernick’s flexible modular systems provide cost efficiency, shorter and more reliable programmes, and improved quality and sustainability.





South London pupils will get a new school after they had to leave their old building because of ” numerous health and safety concerns”. 

Students at Iqra Primary School will move into the new classrooms from next year, after Lambeth councillors approved plans to redevelop the school’s former Park Hill site in Clapham.

Under the proposals, the school’s ex-1970s blocks will be bulldozed and replaced with a new building with green roofs and solar panels. All 236 kids who attended the Islamic school’s former site before its closure in June 2022 will be rehoused in the new building.

Pupils have been taught in a spare classroom at nearby Kings Avenue School since they had to leave the Park Hill site.  Headteacher Humaira Saleem said the new Department of Education (DofE) funded building would allow kids to receive top teaching in a safe environment.

In a statement read out on her behalf at a council meeting on February 21, she said:


“I have witnessed the struggles and difficulties our students have faced every day due to the poor state of our current building. The current building is in a state of disrepair with outdated facilities, inadequate space and numerous health and safety concerns.

“Despite these obstacles, our school has provided excellent education to the children of Lambeth. It has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted and has continued to serve our community with distinction. We believe it is now time to build on this success and ensure our students can receive a high-quality education in a modern, safe and stimulating learning environment.”


Emma Penson, from planning consultants DWD said the buildings on the site were no longer suitable for the school. Speaking on behalf of the DofE, she said:


“The planning application provides a modern and quality school for the pupils and staff of Iqra.  The existing buildings are no longer suitable for the school, being dated, in poor condition and at the end of their working life.

“The Department of Education are thrilled that the planning application is being recommended for approval tonight. They are very much looking forward to delivering a modern, high-quality primary school for the pupils and staff of Iqra.”


But Krysta Shimamura, a local resident who lives across from the school, said she was concerned about smells and noise because of the building’s design. She told the meeting:


“According to the odour assessment report, this property has been classified as high risk in odour. The kitchen and bin storage have been moved closer to our property.

“Design option three puts the playground and assembly hall closer to our house than in design option two. As individuals who work from home regularly, this will disrupt our work day. We work from home four days a week.”


A Lambeth Council planning committee made up of five Labour councillors and one green councillor approved the new school at a meeting on February 21. One councillor abstained.


Source: Clapham Nub News

Exciting plans for a new school that will transform education for vulnerable learners in Powys have been unveiled, the county council has said.


Powys County Council is to build a new £9.1m school for Brynllywarch Hall School as part of its Transforming Education programme. The school, located in Kerry near Newtown, provides education for pupils from 8 to 19-year-olds, with a wide range of complex emotional, behavioural and social difficulties.

A pre-application consultation for the proposed development has started, which allows interested parties to comment on the plans before a planning application is submitted.

The pre-application consultation will close on Tuesday, 14 March, 2023.

The council and its construction partner ISG Construction will also be showcase the exciting plans at two drop-in events that will take place at the school on the following days:

  • Tuesday 28 February between 3.30pm and 7pm
  • Tuesday 7 March between 3.30pm and 7pm

The drop-in events will be open to the whole school community as well as members of the public.

Cllr Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said:


“The new building for Brynllywarch Hall School is a vital step to ensuring we deliver education in a safe and stimulating environment for all our pupils. This project will provide modern facilities for our pupils and teaching staff and help them to deliver an enjoyable and fulfilling education experience for everyone.

“These drop-in events provide a great opportunity for everyone in the school community and members of the public to view these exciting plans, which will transform education for vulnerable learners in Powys.”



To view the pre-application consultation documents online visit which also gives details on how you can make representations on the proposed plans.


Source: Powys

A Cornish construction and professional services consultancy facilitated £15 million worth of work in Cornish schools in 2022, on behalf of Cornwall Council.

The work, delivered by Mace Ward Williams Joint Venture (MWJV), is the result of one of Cornwall Council’s highest single year investment into school infrastructure on record.

The rolling programme aims to ensure all 39 local authority managed schools in the county are in the best possible condition.
Mark Stitson, Schools Maintenance Programme Manager at MWJV, said:


“It is great to be working with Cornwall Council on a significant body of work in such important settings.
“MWJV was created to simplify the procurement process. We have a large network of local suppliers offering a variety of construction services, such as project management, architecture, engineering and surveying. Working in this way ensures a significant proportion of Cornwall Council’s budget is spent on local SMEs.”

One of the beneficiaries of the Schools Maintenance Programme is the Humphry Davy School in Penzance.

In 2022 alone MWJV has facilitated a wide body of work and upgrades in the secondary school, including boiler replacements, electrical distribution board replacements, water system upgrades, roofing work, and more.

Theresa Grainger, business manager at Humphry Davy, said:


“Much of the work carried out in 2022 has helped bring the school in line with new compliance regulations, however the upgrade that will undoubtedly have the greatest impact is the new boiler and building management system.

“Aside from being much more efficient, the new system gives us greater control of how the buildings are heated. At a time when energy prices are so high, this is going to have a significant impact in 2023.”

The Schools Maintenance Programme is scheduled to continue throughout 2023, with further investment into local authority maintained schools.


By Nick Beard, Group Technical Officer, LHC Group


Can you describe some of the current financial / economic challenges faced by schools?


Like most other sectors, education is feeling the squeeze as the cost of living crisis deepens and the UK heads towards recession.

Frustrated with pay conditions, hundreds of thousands of teachers across England and Wales are set to strike throughout February and March – placing pressure on the government and National Education Union (NEU) to come to a last-minute deal on pay if they are to prevent pupils facing further disruption to their education.

School budgets are being stretched more than ever and any pay increases will have to be funded through efficiency savings, meaning other areas – such as building works and refurbishment – may lose out.

This is unfortunate, as many of the UK’s schools have become tired and are no longer fit for purpose, having been standing for up to 60 years in some cases. And while the government’s School Rebuilding Programme is going some way to addressing this, only a select few of the schools and sixth-form colleges most in need are able to benefit. The demand is high as the system-built sites of the 1960s and 70s near the end of their design lives.


How is that all affecting their refurbishment / new building programmes?


The cost of construction materials remains high and the labour shortage is continuing across the construction industry, meaning schools are finding it hard to make their budgets work and secure projects.

In January, British Steel announced a hike in its prices by £75 a tonne, while analysis of data from EU member states, the central EU database, Eurostat, and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shows the cost of labour in Britain has increased by 30% since the Brexit referendum.

Refurbishment, extension and new-build projects are also affected by the fact that contractors are often committed to projects – particularly in the education sector, where companies tend to find their money through refurbishment works – at least 18 months in advance. Therefore, forward planning is important but not always possible. For example, if schools want to plan works during the six-week summer holiday, it’s highly likely that all suitable contractors will have already committed to work by now.

This is when practices like offsite manufacturing can come into their own, as they minimise disruption and risks to staff and pupils and enable buildings to be put up quickly. This is particularly beneficial for refurbishment or expansion programmes, where they can be built in advance and then transported and installed on site within a six-week window.


Why might schools procure building work through a framework?


It makes sense for schools to procure through a framework as they have to comply with procurement regulations but may not have the in-house skills or resource to carry out the more complex and time-consuming procurement procedures the regulations require. Using frameworks removes a lot of this complex regulatory procurement part from the process and allows buyers to focus on securing suitable contractors for their specific project from a pre-vetted list.

At most schools, a capital project is something staff will more than likely only procure once in a lifetime, so the existing team and governors may not have the relevant expertise to do that. By using a framework, staff can get the framework provider to assist them with early market engagement and support and advice with the call off process.


What are the benefits for schools of procuring through a framework?


Frameworks can allow for faster procurement. As suppliers have already been through the statutory periods, schools can speed up the procurement process and better focus on what they need.

They also offer access to a selection of high-quality, pre-approved and pre-assessed contractors. This gives assurance to clients where the resource may not exist to undertake a procurement process alone.

There is also the option of procuring via mini competition or direct award, so frameworks can provide a solution where an urgent requirement necessitates.

And while there continues to be plenty of discussion around sustainability and creating buildings fit for the future, procurement frameworks can facilitate access to specialist consultants and expertise in carbon net zero building, or asset maintenance long-term.


Why might schools procure using an LHC framework?


Besides all of the benefits listed above, schools may choose to procure via an LHC framework for the comprehensiveness and flexibility our frameworks provide. Procuring via an LHC framework enables the clients to work with LHC and our appointed companies to deliver exactly what they need.


When did LHC first launch a framework dedicated to the building, extension, and refurbishment of schools and what was this called?


Our Education Framework for Contractors (EF1) was launched in 2009 and was predominantly aimed at lower cost refurbishment works for education.


How and why has LHC developed and adapted its framework that covers the building, extension, and refurbishment of schools?


Following EF1 we launched our Schools and Community Buildings framework (SCB1) in 2013, which was picked up by the Educational Funding Authority in the South East because they didn’t have a lower value framework for contracts.

We evolved SCB1 in 2017 to become SCB2 and, following feedback from clients, expanded on the scope to cover any type of non-residential public building.

When we launched our Public Buildings Construction and Infrastructure framework (PB3) in 2021, we consulted again with clients and subsequently introduced a specific workstream for the refurbishment of existing buildings to assist schools and other public sector authorities with finding specialist contractors that carry out refurbishment and improvement work on non-residential buildings.

PB3, which also includes buildings for NHS and blue light services and an infrastructure workstream, is due to operate until 30th September 2025. We also added a range of value bands to help support SMEs with gaining a place on the framework and accessing public sector clients.


Can you talk me through the process of appointing companies onto the PB3 framework and how they are assessed?


A single stage open tender process was used. We looked at the general competency of suppliers but also their experience and ability to deliver the different types of buildings and projects they applied for, to make sure they had the right knowledge and capability for working in education (including special educational needs), healthcare, and blue light services.

We used a range of criteria to assess the suitability of applicants, including:

  • Good standing and company governance
  • Financial due diligence and insurances
  • Accreditations and certifications
  • Case study examples (of previous similar projects)
  • Live project scenarios
  • Fire safety
  • Sustainability and achieving net carbon zero


We also asked specifically about things like the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), which is a way to assess a building’s environmental credentials once it’s been constructed. We are finding that a lot of LHC clients want a BREEAM score for their buildings, so we asked suppliers whether they have delivered this before and, if not, quizzed them on who they would use for this. This is aimed at getting them to identify assessors and how they would approach the process of delivering the requirements of BREEAM.


What kind of companies do you have on PB3 – can you name some stand-out companies?


There are a total of 47 companies on the PB3 framework, including tier one contractors Galliford Try, Kier, Vinci, and Willmott Dixon but also more local and regional contractors.


About PB3


The Public Buildings Construction and Infrastructure (PB3) framework allows local authorities, social landlords and other public sector bodies to source contractors for works relating to the construction and refurbishment of educational, healthcare, emergency service and community buildings. It can also be used for residential properties within mixed-use developments, student accommodation, conversion of commercial building for residential use, and can include associated infrastructure works.

The framework is worth up to £750 million in England, £750 million in Scotland and £100 million in Wales.


For more information CLICK HERE




 Leading offsite manufacturer, McAvoy, has completed the handover of three major contracts worth £40m. 

The projects in both the education and health sectors have utilised the very latest in precision manufacturing techniques and further reinforced McAvoy’s credentials for high quality, fast delivery, and sustainability.

The 6,850m2 Merstham Park School which McAvoy delivered for the Department for Education within just 66 weeks is a purpose-designed 2-3 storey school providing 900 pupils aged 11-16 years with high-quality classrooms, play space, a dance studio, and an all-weather sports pitch.

The pioneering ‘Low Carbon Pathfinder’ project minimises energy usage by implementing the ‘Be Lean, Be Clean, Be Green’ energy hierarchy which focuses on reducing the demand for energy at source through passive measures before considering efficient systems and renewable technology.

The use of digital technology and Modern Methods of Construction enabled the reduction of the school’s water demand by more than 30%, operational energy consumption by more than 73% and carbon emissions by almost 60% of the predicted regulated energy use. Low or Zero Carbon Technologies (LZCTs) also provide up to 44% of peak energy demand at the school.

A biophilic approach to the design was also key to enhancing the students’ sensory connection with the natural environment, improving psychological health & wellbeing, increasing levels of relaxation, concentration and cognitive performance, as well as social activation and motivation to learn.

Meanwhile, Stanton Cross Primary School in Wellingborough – a two storey School accommodating 420 pupils aged 4-11 – is an integral element in a £1billion development that is set to transform the East of Wellingborough.

McAvoy delivered the school which includes classrooms, a main hall and kitchen, along with playground, soft play area and a dedicated children’s centre for younger pupils for North Northamptonshire Council within 11 months of signing the contract.

The third major project – this time within the health sector – is a ten-year rental arrangement for the provision of 2no. 48 bed wards at Good Hope Hospital and Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.



Our construction frameworks allow schools to embed social value in the way most appropriate to their circumstances. 5 top tips on what you need to consider


Social value in procurement is about making sure that what you buy creates additional benefits for society. To get it right, you need to start thinking as early as possible about how to apply it to what you are buying.

The PPN 06/20 policy note highlighted changes that mean public sector buyers are required to think differently about how they secure social value from the goods and services they buy for their local area.

This significant policy change meant that social value became a mainstream priority in all public sector procurement from 2021 onwards.

What is social value and why is it important for schools?

A properly planned and delivered school building project not only has the potential to have a transformational impact on the lives of learners but it can also be beneficial to the wider community, provided social value considerations are taken into account during the procurement process.

Social value is created when projects support environmental, economic and social wellbeing. In the case of school construction, this might involve commissioning a project that requires the suppliers bidding for the work to state what environmental benefits they would offer should they win the contract. These could include installing solar panels to supplement the energy supply to sourcing sustainable materials.

When a school signs a new contract, they can ask prospective suppliers to consider what they would be able to offer in terms of social value themes; this could include creating local employment opportunities, reducing energy and water consumption, detection and prevention of modern slavery or minimising damage to the environment

What precise environmental, economic and social outcomes you choose to prioritise is up to you but your bid evaluation exercise will work much better if you have a clear understanding of what your social value ‘ask’ is from the start. This will help you to draft your specification and evaluation questions and avoid any sense that social value is arbitrary.

To ensure that there are clear lines of sight between your social value expectations and what suppliers can offer, here’s our 5 top tips on what you need to consider.

  1. Embed throughout the project

Focus on embedding social value considerations throughout the project. For larger projects consider a project specific social value strategy. Don’t wait until the main contractor tender to start thinking about it either, consider writing clear guidance around social value and what is expected in the brief.

  1. Don’t ask for everything

Early community engagement brings tailored social outcomes. This will help your team to be able to focus on what social value outcomes you want for your project and help to avoid you asking for everything. What are the key themes for the area of construction? Does it have a high unemployment rate? Engage with local charities and social enterprises to find out what’s important to them.

  1. Consider what questions to ask at tender stage

Tailor your questions to be project specific and drive a SMART answer. Think carefully about who you ask to assess and score these questions, it should be someone with the right skills and experience to know a good answer from a bad one.

  1. Make it contractual and monitor

Getting some great social value outcomes at the tender stage is fantastic, but it’s really important that this is fed through and delivered. One way to do this is to convert these promises into social value KPI’s that are monitored throughout.

  1. Ask for data

Include clear instructions on exactly what you want captured. For example, if you’re asking for contractors to train apprentices, ask them to record apprentice initials and postcode, the programme, level and start and end dates so that you can interrogate the data. Ensure your contract has a right to audit clause and that any data you collect is GDPR compliant.

How CCS can help support your next school building project

Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) construction frameworks allow customers to embed social value in the way most appropriate to their circumstances.

There’s a wide range of social value related considerations, such as opportunities for disadvantaged groups, contributing to achieving healthy communities, driving climate change, and with recent impacts of EU exit on labour, social value that considers upskilling the workforce and providing job opportunities has become more important than ever

Find out more

For more advice on including social value in your construction projects, CLICK HERE

Jonathon Hunter Hill

Product Manager – AirMaster SMVs


In most Romance languages, the word for insulation translates directly as isolation. On the road to Net Zero, one of the UK’s primary challenges is to cut heat loss from buildings by isolating the inside from the outside. Increases in air tightness, and reductions in U-values and thermal bridging, will continue to reduce heat loss from buildings. But the increased air tightness creates a particular problem: we are aiming to eliminate natural air exchange between indoors and outdoors to reduce heat loss, cutting the primary method of ventilation that the UK has long relied upon.

Ventilation is required to maintain good indoor air quality in buildings, whether it be reducing the humidity to prevent damp and mould, or to minimise CO2 levels to prevent inhibition of brain function. This creates a different problem: by extracting air from buildings, we also extract heat, which must then be made up from other sources. This is a vicious circle in that we have reduced heat loss through natural air exchange, but may incur heat loss through mechanical ventilation. In buildings with relatively low occupancy densities, such as domestic environments, a low rate of air change per hour (ACH-1) is required, for example 2-4 ACH-1 for living rooms. But in buildings with relatively high occupancy densities, such as offices and schools, the ventilation rate required to maintain good indoor air quality is 4-6 ACH-1, so a great deal of heat can be lost.

The UK has long been in the habit of using natural ventilation for buildings, but Net Zero put paid to that. The solution is to recover the heat from the air using mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR). In Europe, this is the de facto ventilation solution for new buildings. Indeed, in European deep refurbishments and new builds this is typically a legal requirement. MVHR extracts stale air from rooms, passing it through a heat exchanger. At the same, fresh air is drawn in from outside and is passed through the heat exchanger, the two pathways being separated by a hydraulic break. Heat flows from hot to cold, so the stale air deposits its heat into the heat exchanger, which is picked up by the colder fresh air, warming it before it enters the room. This can reduce heat demand by up to 90%.

When it comes to the UK’s new build schools, in the School Output Specification (Technical Annex 2H: Energy) the Department for Education has set minimum energy intensity targets of 52 / 67 kWh/m2 (primary and special educational needs / secondary schools respectively). The Output Specification indicates that heating should comprise 8 kWh/m2 of this target. Heat load (heat loss), therefore, must be absolutely minimal in order to meet this criterion. Using natural, hybrid, or mixed mode ventilation solutions, this target simply will not be met. It can only be achieved using MVHR, and MVHR with a low specific fan power (SFP) at that.

Factoring in both electrical consumption, heat demand associated with ventilation, fabric losses, and internal gains, a classroom with decentralized MVHR will have a heat load of approximately 600 kWh/year. Comparatively, a classroom with the best hybrid solution would have a heat load of approximately 3,500 kWh/year. This is a factor of six different, entirely due to heat recovery, which in this case will recover approximately 84% of the classroom’s heat. (

In many cases, schools are being designed to use air source heat pumps combined with solar PV panels for generation. If we assume that the heat pump has an SCOP of 3.2 and that PV covers and average of 50% of the building’s electricity demand, the performance gap narrows. However, the outstanding heat load is still approximately a factor of five times higher when using hybrid ventilation as opposed to decentralized MVHR. The result of a reduced heat load is a reduced requirement for both heat plant and renewable energy generation, resulting in net lower lifecycle carbon emissions and may result in lower capital costs.

In specifying ventilation units of any type, I strongly encourage designers to consider not only the electrical energy, but also the heat loss associated with the type of ventilation considered; to take a holistic approach to ventilation. MVHR inevitably has a higher electrical demand, but will slash the building’s heat demand.

When we consider the building fabric to meet our Net Zero goals, it is essential that we consider minimising heat loss through ventilation as a core element of said fabric. This will only be achieved with good quality MVHR if we are to satisfy the requirements for energy intensity and the indoor air quality. With the rise in energy prices, we must reconsider CAPEX vs OPEX. We can learn a great deal from the more mature energy markets of Europe.


The effectiveness of education provided to students is directly proportional to the quality of the learning environment where the teaching is delivered. Optimal acoustics, thermal performance, air quality, natural lighting, security and aesthetics work harmoniously together to positively impact how students and teachers stay comfortable and focused, and perform academically.

Kawneer continuously invests in façade systems that create excellent learning environments, allowing specifiers to choose from a wide variety of market leading products designed and built to the highest possible standards.

From a suite of products specifically designed for the Education sector, highlights include the AA®190 TB, a severe duty welded commercial entrance door that offers robust performance, the AA®720 SL window, offering great thermal characteristics and slim sightlines, and our market leading AA®100 curtain wall system, which provides a best-in-class performance.

Facing the challenges together

With a vast amount of experience in this sector, helping to create buildings that deliver aesthetic, cost and performance requirements, Kawneer understands the challenges faced by architects, fabricators and maintenance teams.That’s why it specialises in aluminium façade solutions that provide excellent performance, best value, unmatched durability, reduced maintenance and a low carbon footprint.

Kawneer manufactures its high performance aluminium systems at its purpose-built manufacturing facility in Runcorn, Cheshire. These products allow specifiers to meet both the technical performance and cost brief of any project, creating excellent learning environments that provide great aesthetics and optimise natural light and ventilation.

Leading by example

Kawneer is one of very few suppliers with the BES 6001 accreditation, a document proving our products are made with responsibly sourced raw materials. We also have ‘Life Cycle Assessments’ and ‘Environmental Product Declarations’ (EPDs) for our three main systems.

Teachers strive to ensure the experience and knowledge they pass on to a new generation lasts a lifetime. Kawneer wants the buildings it has helped to create to withstand the test of time and ensure they provide comfortable learning environments for all future generations.

Your next education project

We have built up a well-established and successful legacy in this sector, so whether you are looking for a thermally efficient Passivhaus solution, an outward opening cost-effective casement window or a robust entrance door that is tested to a severe duty category, we have the right product choice and combination for your next education project.

Construction to begin on multi-million pound state-of-the-art educational institute

Expansion work will start this month as part of Hartlepool’s £25million Town Deal

An engineering company is set to start work on an expansion as part of the moves to create a skills academy of the future.

Seymour Civil Engineering has received planning approval for further development of their Skills Academy in Hartlepool’s Brenda Road. It will expand its existing training facility, combining construction and civil engineering, to create a state-of-the-art educational institute.

The institute is a partnership between Seymour’s, Hartlepool College of Further Education and Hartlepool Council. In 2021, it secured a share of the £25 million Town Deal fund in order to support the consolidation and growth of teaching and training at their two existing sites, the college’s Exeter Street Annex and Seymou’s Skills Academy in Brenda Road.

Initial Towns Deal research highlighted the need for economic transformation in Hartlepool, particularly within the provision of high-quality learning and skills productivity. The institute is receiving a combined £2.2m of external funding through the Town Deal, with £1.4m allocated to the Brenda Road site and the remainder allocated to the Exeter Street Campus.

The project aims to reduce the critical skills shortage in the construction sector by encouraging the uptake of formal qualifications, job opportunities and youth engagement.

Adam Harker, managing director at Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “We are proud to play a leading role in the upskilling of our industry, providing multiple routes into civil engineering and construction. The current skills shortage represents one of the biggest challenges to our industry.

“This partnership with Hartlepool College and Hartlepool Council, and the significant investment into the skills institute is going to bring a fantastic opportunity not only to the local community who will benefit from future career prospects, but also the wider industry as it helps to overcome these challenges.”

According to the Construction Industry Training Board, between 2023 and 2027 the North East requires an extra 7,900 workers in this sector. Construction at Brenda Road is due to begin this month and includes new modular classrooms and training facilities such as a telehandler tower and temporary timber framed bungalow.

Darren Hankey, principal at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “We are committed on delivering a centre of excellence for practical civil engineering and construction training. It is widely acknowledged that there is a critical skills shortage in the construction sector. The academy hopes to tackle this by promoting lifelong learning to meet the ever changing demands of this industry.”

Cllr Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Council, said: “So much hard work has gone into developing this important Town Deal project, so I’m delighted for all concerned that planning approval has been received. Providing residents, particularly our young people, with the skills they need to develop successful careers in this key sector is vital for the future of the town and its economy.”


The five Town Deal transformation projects include renovation of the former Wesley Chapel, connectivity waterfront improvements, reimagining of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre and the development of educational institutes in health and social care and civil engineering.


Source: Teeside Live