Construction firm appointed to deliver £1.6m school extension

Briercliffe Primary School

Conlon Construction has been appointed by Lancashire County Council to deliver a £1.6m extension and refurbishment at a Burnley school which will support an increase in the provision of local school placements.

The project at Briercliffe Primary will enable the school to expand from a 1.5 to 2 form entry, providing extra classrooms to cater for the growing demand for primary school places in the area.

Conlon will be working alongside Lancashire County Council, which has designed the extension in-house.

Expected to complete in April 2021, the development will be delivered within a live school environment, meaning extra resources will be required to ensure minimal disruption during the construction phase.

The project will benefit from Conlon Construction’s ongoing CSR agenda, which is applied to all its live developments.

The contractor promises that 80% of the supply chain for the project will be sourced from within a 30-mile radius of the site and that the development will be used to create more apprenticeship opportunities in the local area.

Over the past five years, Conlon Construction has exceeded 1,250 apprentice weeks annually. Three of its existing apprentices will work on site at the Briercliffe extension, with an additional three apprentices set to be hired before the project is complete.

It is also one of several appointments for Conlon Construction since the easing of the coronavirus lockdown – a period which, it says, will have impacted the wellbeing of workers in the industry.

Darren Lee, commercial director at Conlon Construction, said: “As a considerate contractor, we want to work on projects where we can really make a difference.

“Through the development at Briercliffe we won’t only be ensuring that local families have a wider pool of choice when it comes to selecting a school for their children, but will be ensuring that young people are actively encouraged to play a role in delivering this vital asset to the community.”

He added: “It’s an unusual time for construction. Whether sites remained open or closed during the lockdown, contractors must work even harder to support their workforce and wider supply chain to overcome the anxiety and other emotional issues associated with the pandemic.

“To tackle this, we are working with Lancashire Mind to ensure the team at Conlon, and the construction workforce across the region, are supported in what we know has been a testing time.

“What we hope is that, in doing so, we will see our workforce ease back into normality with a continued passion for what they do, which means our developments will continue to lead the way in terms of innovation and impact for their users.”

County councillor, Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “We have to make sure that we have enough places to meet demand now and in the future.

“This particular school has been over-subscribed for a few years and the good news is that we’ll now be able to provide an extra 15 permanent reception places from September 2020.

“It’s great that we’ve been able to offer these extra places which will be a real boost for the local community.”

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