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Construction work continues in Sandwell

Construction work at three existing schools, which will accommodate an additional 990 students in Sandwell, has taken another step forward with local contractor Willmott Dixon starting work on the sites.

With a total value of £23.8m, the three projects including Q3 Academy Langley, West Bromwich Collegiate Academy and Bristnall Hall Academy, will provide much-needed school places from September 2021.

The facilities, which have been designed in conjunction with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and ADP Architecture, are being built as part of the Council’s Schools Capital Programme 2019-2021. National contractor Willmott Dixon will be working on-site at all three developments simultaneously.

Michelle Cotterill, operations director at Willmott Dixon, said: “We are very excited to be on-site at these three prominent developments within Sandwell – these schemes will provide much-needed school places for the local community throughout its period of rapid expansion.

"We have experience within the education industry and a proven track record of working in live education environments. We are delighted to be providing Sandwell Council with a trio of high-quality education facilities.”

Procured via the Constructing West Midlands Framework, the specifications for the developments include: extending the existing teaching accommodation including providing a theatre, new multi-use hall and completion of all external spaces at Q3 Academy Langley; the completion of a new specialist teaching block, a sports hall and a new sports pitch at West Bromwich Collegiate Academy; and the provision of a new stand-alone building comprising of teaching, kitchen and dining facilities at Bristnall Hall Academy.

Michelle added: “As with all our projects, we aim to leave a lasting legacy on the communities we work within and have therefore committed to investing five per cent back into the local community during this development.

“We are aiming to deliver a total of over £1.2m worth of social value across all three schools by introducing initiatives that include the improvement of staff wellbeing, supporting local people into employment and providing NEETs students with employability skills and training opportunities.

“We will be working closely with Sandwell’s education, skills and employment team to look at local employment and apprenticeships, and our on-site teams will also be providing career guidance, workshops, site tours and mock interviews. We’ll also be hosting work experience placements and supporting the community through initiatives and volunteering opportunities.”

Councillor Joyce Underhill, cabinet member for Best Start in Life at Sandwell, said: “In these most challenging of times, particularly with the unusual working restrictions we all currently face, it is extremely pleasing to see the progress that has continued to be made towards these 3 major school projects being completed in time for the start of September 2021."

It is planned for the schools to be ready for their next intake of pupils at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

Willmott Dixon is experienced in delivering education schemes across the region including the completion of Water Orton Primary School in Water Orton, Birmingham in 2019 – the team is also currently on site at Christ Church Academy in Yardley Wood, Birmingham.

Pictured: Sandwell Theatre

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