31 March 2010

Northamptonshire County Council has selected Willmott Dixon Construction as the preferred bidder for its academies building programme in Kettering.

The £55 million building programme will see the design and construction of the town’s two new academies, Kettering Science Academy which is sponsored by Brooke Weston Academy Trust and Kettering Buccleuch Academy which is sponsored by United Learning Trust.

Councillor Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “The past year has seen big changes for Kettering in terms of the education of our children and young people with the creation of two new academies to drive forward improvement in performance and standards. The accompanying building programmes will have far-reaching benefits for the students they teach and the local communities they serve, with a combined total of £55 million to be invested in new buildings and facilities.”

Peter Owen, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon Midlands, said: "We are delighted to have been selected to construct these prestigious new academies in Kettering. In June of last year we delivered the Corby East Midlands International Swimming Pool and to be working again so soon in the county is fantastic for us. We look forward to a highly successful working relationship with Northamptonshire County Council and with both of the Sponsors."

Willmott Dixon Construction will now develop the designs for the secondary phase buildings for the Kettering Science Academy on Deeble Road, Kettering.

The new buildings will replace the current secondary school buildings which the school has outgrown, and which struggle to support today’s technology rich curriculum.

Peter Simpson, Executive Principal of Brooke Weston Academy Trust, said: "The Brooke Weston Trust is delighted with the selection of Willmott Dixon to build the new Kettering Science Academy and is looking forward to working closely with them to turn the design into reality. We believe that the new academy will provide an excellent environment in which our students, staff and the community will be able to work and learn.”

There will be the opportunity for the local community to comment on the designs prior to an application for planning permission being made in May 2010.

It is envisaged that work on site will commence in September 2010 with the buildings being ready for occupation in September 2012.

The capital value of the construction of Kettering Science Academy is £25.6 million.

Willmott Dixon Construction will also develop the designs for Kettering Buccleuch Academy on Weekley Glebe Road, Kettering. This will go through a similar process of consultation prior to a planning submission with the target of commencement on site in January 2011 with a completion for opening in September 2012.