This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Pupils swap leaky school for new one thanks to Sunesis

18 July 2013

Teachers and pupils at a Weston-super-Mare school blighted by damp and a leaking roof have moved into a brand new one thanks to Sunesis, the standardised school concept from Willmott Dixon and Scape

Two years ago a news article on the BBC website highlighted that Ashcombe Primary School ‘has ongoing problems with widespread damp and rot, leaking roofs, dated temporary buildings and even badgers digging soil from underneath buildings’. At the time, Pat Brown, the school's chair of governors, said: "We are very concerned about the state of the buildings and our ability to keep them as safe and secure.”

That’s changed now thanks to a pre-designed Sunesis school built in just 10 months, allowing staff and pupils to move into their new home in the final weeks of the summer term. Timing was a key driver for the school, as they wanted to start the next school year with pupils, parents and teachers already familiarised with their new home.

Scape is a local authority controlled company providing savings and efficiency to the public sector through strategic procurement arrangements. By procuring a Sunesis school through OJEU-compliant Scape, North Somerset Council benefitted from reduced procurement time and savings against fees normally associated with legal issues, design and appointing a contractor.

The fixed price of £4.6m also meant it met the council’s budget for a new school and the super-fast 40 week build period included the installation of furniture and ICT.

North Somerset Council chose from a suite of designs, opting for the ‘Keynes’ modelfor Ashcombe Primary School from the Sunesisstandardised range. A single story L-shaped building with a wide central corridor or ‘learning street’ connected to classrooms and offices on either side, the school is now the first two form entry Sunesis school in the UK – accommodating a total of 420 pupils in an‘A-rated’ energy efficient building.

Willmott Dixon managing director in the South West, Neal Stephens, says, “When you talk about our industry making a difference to people’s lives, this is what we mean. Thanks to our standardised concept that fitted the council’s budget, pupils can learn and achieve in a quality environment. Everyone is absolutely thrilled with it!”

Councillor Tony Lake said: “At a time when public spending is under more pressure than ever, the Sunesis system has meant we were able to commission a cost-saving school building that didn’t compromise on quality.”

Scape Chief Executive Mark Robinson explains, “As a public sector organization, Scape meets increasing numbers of local authorities with school buildings in poor condition and limited budgets with which to provide replacement facilities. Sunesis is an approach specifically designed to maximize value through innovative pre-designed solutions and Ashcombe Primary School is a great example of a school in need that used Sunesis to deliver fantastic results on a tight budget.”

There are four primary school designs and one secondary with each developed for a different type of requirement. The models are: Keynes, Dewey, Newton, Paxton and Mondrian.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page


View more articles
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...

MITIE move on Edinburgh Castle

MITIE has added Edinburgh Castle to the portfolio of iconic buildings it services in Scotland....
Article image

Rinnai announces world first 100% hydrogen combustion technology water heater

Rinnai has announced the world’s first 100% hydrogen combustion for continuous flow hot water heaters....
Article image


Dalkia has recently held an international Health and Safety Awareness week across every element of its business, in every country in which it operates. Ded...
Article image

Atalian Servest confirms first acquisition since 2018 merger

Independently-owned service provider Incentive FM has been acquired by Atalian Servest for an undisclosed sum....
Article image

Deadline for PFM Awards Team Member nominations approaches

There is just one week left for finalists within this year's PFM Partnership Awards to nominate candidates for the Team Member of the Year category....