24 March 2022 – Willmott Dixon has been appointed by Newport City Council to deliver significant improvements to Bassaleg Comprehensive School that will create over 300 extra school places.
Procured using the SEWSCAP3 framework by the council’s property partner Newport Norse, the project will see the creation of a three-storey teaching block which contains dining and assembly areas, as well as 3G sports facilities, playing fields and associated external works.
Sustainability will play a key role in the development, with the teaching building incorporating a wide range of energy efficient methodologies, including an enhanced building envelope to maximise air tightness, alongside triple glazed windows. Furthermore, the roof will feature an array of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, harnessing renewable energy.
At a turf cutting to celebrate the start of the project, Councillor Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “The improvements being carried out in Bassaleg are part of a multi-million pound investment in our schools and education by the council and Welsh Government.”
Councillor Deb Davies, the council’s cabinet member for education, added: “Funding from the council and the Sustainable Communities for Learning programme has given us an opportunity to improve the environment for pupils which in turn will enhance the learning experience. It also helps us to respond to the increase demand for places as our city continues to grow.”
Victoria Lambe, headteacher of Bassaleg School said: “We feel incredibly proud to be in receipt of much needed significant investment to our infrastructure to accommodate our growing school population. The planned upgraded facilities will complement the innovative and expansive work being undertaken on our dynamic new curriculum and ensure that our pupils are thriving within a 21st century learning environment.”
Ian Jones, director at Willmott Dixon said: “We are delighted to be working with Newport City Council at Bassaleg School where we will bring our significant experience delivering low carbon facilities for the education sector. Working with Newport City Council and Newport Norse, the school’s redevelopment will benefit not just pupils and staff, but the wider community.
“Willmott Dixon has a commitment to engage the communities where it builds. This is reflected in the work we are already undertaking with the school, and also the strong links our team and our supply chain partners have to Bassaleg School and the surrounding community.”
Bassaleg Comprehensive School is the latest scheme to be delivered with matched funding from the Welsh Government through its Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme. It also marks the latest milestone in Willmott Dixon’s sustainable schools building programme, underpinned by its sector leading sustainability strategy, Now or Never, where the company has committed to ensuring all new building projects and major refurbishments will achieve net zero operational carbon by 2030.
In Preston, the company is building the £21m Tarleton Academy, which will deliver a net zero carbon in operation learning environment for 750 pupils. Furthermore, in North Wiltshire, the company is on site at Silverwood School’s Rowde campus, building a £29m net-zero carbon school to deliver a high-quality learning environment for 350 SEND pupils. This project will also see a biodiversity net gain of more than 14%.