Contractor goes to the top of the class with £7.2m school contract

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Contractor Willmott Dixon has secured a £7.2m contract to extend The Priory School in Spalding, Lincolnshire, as part of Lincolnshire County Council’s wider £86m SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) school investment programme.

Procured through SCAPE, the extension and refurbishment project will enable the school to offer improved specialist facilities to 127 pupils, aged between four and 19 years old. This will help the school transition from an 11-19 age ambulant school to an all-through, all-needs facility. This project is the fourth scheme being delivered by Willmott Dixon within the region, which combined will deliver 500 additional SEND school places.

Building on the school’s existing setup, Willmott Dixon will deliver a new site layout to cater for all needs and all through, including nine new classrooms, in addition to a new social recreation space, life skills room, increased WC provision of suitable need, meeting space and ancillary staff facilities. The project will also incorporate carefully considered design elements including minor refurbishment of the existing school building to provide a new plant room and adjacent staff spaces.

Nick Heath, director of delivery at Willmott Dixon, said: “We’re pleased to have broken ground on our fourth SEND school project for Lincolnshire County Council. The scheme is very important in meeting the needs of all young children in the area and they can be certain that we are committed to delivering a design that facilitates the best education for every pupil.

“We have a proud history in the education sector and consistently bring new ideas to the table during the consultation process. We always aim to leave a lasting legacy and maximise the value possessed by our skilled workforce. This project has been designed to support the local community from all angles, so students, staff, parents, local residents, and all other stakeholders receive maximum consideration in relation to their individual needs.”

Various benefits beyond the end product will be brought to the area as the project will provide £375,000 worth of social value. This will include supporting local people into employment and providing NEET (not in education, employment or training) students with employability skills and training opportunities.

Heath added: “As with all our projects, sustainability for people and the environment is a major focus. Our ‘Now or Never’ strategy guides everything we are doing to ensure a greener future and outlines how by 2030 all our new buildings will achieve net-zero operational carbon. At The Priory we are installing electric vehicle charging stations for onsite teams to travel sustainably.”