Public-Private partnership delivers new Derby primary school in record time

Published: 9 October 2019

Staff and pupils outside Hackwood Primary school

Construction work has completed at a new primary school in Derby, which will provide 210 vital primary school places

Construction work has completed at a new primary school in Derby, which will provide 210 vital primary school places.

Hackwood Primary Academy, part of The Harmony Trust, has progressed from planning to handover in less than a year thanks to the efficiency afforded by innovative modular construction methods, and effective collaboration between the public and private stakeholders involved.

Based on Starflower Way and built by Morgan Sindall Construction, the school has been commissioned by Derby City Council, Redrow Homes East Midlands and Miller Homes. The local authority has been working in partnership with the residential developers, through a Section 106 agreement, to ensure there are sufficient primary school places to support the planned 700 new homes on the neighbouring Hackwood Farm estate.

The £5 million project was procured through the Scape Venture framework, which aims to build certainty into public-private partnerships while facilitating early collaboration between all parties. The scheme is the most high-profile to be delivered through the framework to date. Morgan Sindall Construction is an exclusive provider for Venture projects over £7.5 million in the Midlands, while also delivering projects under that amount on a non-exclusive basis.

Designed by Lungfish Architects, Hackwood Primary Academy is a modular single-storey school, spanning 14,000 square foot. It houses seven classrooms and a 26-place nursery.

Leading offsite specialist education manufacturer, Eco Modular Buildings, has provided the innovative expandable units, which have the capacity to be expanded in future, to accommodate up to 315 pupils.

Independent property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard provided project management, quantity surveying and NEC supervision services for the project.

The Morgan Sindall Construction site team has facilitated a full programme of community engagement despite the rapid build time.

Pupils from nearby Whitecross Nursery School were invited to watch the modular sections being lifted into position, while job seekers at the local Derby JobCentre Plus were given advice about careers in construction.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) also held a seminar on modular construction at the site, highlighting the scheme as an exemplar project.

Rob Cant, framework director at Morgan Sindall Construction in the Midlands, said:

This project is a shining example of what can be achieved when effective and early collaboration is twinned with the very best in modern methods of construction. The rapid delivery is a clear plus. But the assurances around sustainability, quality and potential for easy future expansion afforded by the modular offsite construction process are of equal importance. Hackwood Primary Academy sets down a marker for the standards local authorities should demand when looking to deliver additional school places without delay, and stands evidence to the effectiveness of working through frameworks.

Evonne Williams, cabinet member for children and young people at Derby City Council said:

I’m delighted that the building has been completed so efficiently and would like to thank all those involved in the funding, development and construction. These 210 places are desperately needed by the city and I look forward to seeing the school grow and to working closely with The Harmony Trust over the coming years.

Mike Salter, group development director at Scape Group added:

By bringing together the very best of public and private procurement expertise this fantastic primary school has been delivered with certainty and efficiency through the Scape Venture framework. Engaging Morgan Sindall Construction and Lungfish Architects at the earliest opportunity through a collaborative approach has helped to deliver an inspiring learning environment.

Tamara Rolfs, Executive Principal at Hackwood Primary Academy said:

We feel proud to be serving this new community and the pupils within this fantastic modern building. The Harmony Trust vision is to provide an excellent education, within a 21st century curriculum and we look forward to working in partnership with parents and the community as the school grows.

Simon Reid, Lungfish Architects managing director commented:

By working collaboratively with Hackwood Primary Academy and Morgan Sindall Construction, and utilising our expertise in designing schools, we have been able to create innovative, engaging spaces that will enhance the learning experience for the pupils.

Matt Hall, director at Pick Everard said:

Hackwood Primary Academy has been delivered using innovative offsite, modern methods of construction. This – along with the delivery team being appointed via our extensive supply chain network – resulted in an efficient delivery time. We’re incredibly proud to have helped to establish a meaningful new relationship between this innovative public private partnership, Morgan Sindall Construction and Derby City Council.

Martyn Pask, regional director for Redrow Homes East Midlands, commented:

Ensuring we give back to local people and organisations is one of our key priorities here at Redrow Homes. As part of our commitment to supporting and creating thriving communities, we are delighted to have contributed to the construction of the brand-new Hackwood Primary Academy, which will be of great benefit to families in and around Mickleover, including those living at our Hackwood Grange development.

Ben Massey, regional operations director for Miller Homes – East Midlands, said:

Working in partnership to provide much needed new school places for children within the local area, including at our Hackwood Park development, is a fantastic example of our desire to make a wider contribution to the communities where we are creating new homes. This has been a very exciting project to be involved in and the new school will have an important place at the heart of the overall Hackwood development.


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