Yorkshire Learning Partnership is pleased to announce that the first three schools in the Yorkshire Batch of the Priority Schools Building Programme, have been completed to programme, and that the schools have opened on the planned dates. The three schools to open are Beckfoot Upper Heaton and Samuel Lister Academy, both in the Bradford Metropolitan area, together with Harrogate High School in North Yorkshire.
The Yorkshire Batch of schools is comprised of seven schools in West and North Yorkshire, and has been procured by the Education Funding Agency. The project will deliver circa 63,283m2 of new teaching accommodation which will benefit in excess of 7,000 students. The learning environments have been designed around double and triple height community spaces, such as halls and dining areas, to provide an abundance of natural light throughout the buildings. Each school also has a new standalone Sports Hall. The new accommodation will replace outdated buildings in need of repair, with facilities suitable and fit for the 21st Century.
In addition to providing new school buildings, the project also provides hard Facilities Management (FM) services to the schools for a concession period of 25 years.
Funding for the £120m project is provided via a Private Finance (PF2) arrangement, from a consortium of lenders secured through an Aggregator vehicle, Amber Infrastructures.
Yorkshire Learning Partnership is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) selected by the Education Funding Agency to construct the schools and provide the FM services. Partners in the SPV are Equitix, Laing O’Rourke PLC, and IUK Investments (HM Treasury’s vehicle for investing equity in PF2 projects).
Laing O’Rourke Construction has been contracted by Yorkshire Learning Partnership to carry out the construction of the buildings and provide the FM service.
To construct the schools Laing O’Rourke has utilised its Sigma system, developed by the company as a standardised method of school design and construction utilising their DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly) product range. This offsite manufacturing approach, combined with engineering expertise of the project teams, has provided high quality construction standards, reduced design lead times and enabled successful delivery to tight programmes.
Construction of the first three schools commenced in September 2015, and they were completed to programme between November 2016 and January 2017. The first school was occupied after the Christmas holiday with the following two schools being occupied after the February Half Term break. A further three school will open for the new term in September 2017, with the final and largest school opening in the Spring of 2018.