Tilbury Douglas Construction Secures Two New Education Contracts in the West Midlands

Tilbury Douglas Construction has won two new education contracts in the West Midlands, with work starting later this month.


Located in Walsall both schools (The Ladder School and Walsall Studio School)

were awarded by the Department for Education under the EFSA 2017 Medium Band Construction Framework and will be operated by The Mercian Trust.


Designed in collaboration with Race Cottam Architects, The Ladder School will be an entirely new build school providing alternative provision for young people in the Walsall area who are at the risk of exclusion from mainstream education. Currently housed in temporary accommodation, the new two and three storey building will offer up to 112 students a radically improved learning environment for Key Stage 4 and post 16 education.


Principal of The Ladder School, Mr. Chris Bury said:


“I am very excited to see construction work start; the new school has been carefully planned to ensure students have the best possible chances to succeed. As a school community we cannot wait to move into our new facilities, the project will change the life chances for the students we serve.”


On an adjacent site, a second project to extend accommodation for Walsall Studio School will simultaneously be constructed. Walsall Studio School is a specialist studio school with a bespoke curriculum designed to engage students on a 4-year professional journey that allows them to thrive in the creative, digital and health industries. The new building will provide dedicated and specialist space to further this work.


Principal of Walsall Studio School, Mr. Darren Perry said:


“The new build development symbolises our commitment to providing a high-quality performance and a digitally rich learning environment that enables our students to thrive. As a school that champions industry-led learning, I am excited to enhance our unique Studio School approach for future cohorts of students.”

Commenting on the new developments, Simon Butler, Division Director at Tilbury Douglas Construction in the Midlands said:


We are delighted to have been awarded two new contracts which represent a significant investment in education provision in the West Midlands. Tilbury Douglas has a strong track record in delivering specialist education projects and we are looking forwards to starting on site.”


Works will begin in April 2021, with a completion date of spring 2022.



CONSTRUCTION has started to create a number of new classroom blocks at three secondary schools across Essex – adding 750 much-needed school places for pupils in the county.

The modular units will be installed at Clacton County High School, in Clacton-on-Sea; The Colne Community School and College, in Brightlingsea; and Sweyne Park School, in Rayleigh, as part of the Essex County Council-led scheme.

The designs for all three schools have been tailored to be as flexible and efficient as possible to maximise the benefits of a modular solution, while simultaneously meeting both the client’s educational needs and environmental requirements.

Leading independent property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard has been appointed to deliver architecture, civil, structural and MEP engineering, and principal design services.

Keith Prendergast, director at Pick Everard, said: “We are really pleased to be working with Essex County Council to improve the school facilities and increase the number of pupil places in the county. These three projects are the latest to be delivered by Pick Everard for this client, continuing a longstanding relationship with the council.

“We have worked closely with the client and had close collaboration with a modular supplier to ensure the brief was achieved and the design was conducive with an offsite modular solution. This will provide the high-quality education facilities the next generation of students deserve.

“The implementation of modular for these projects has also allowed the overall programme time to be greatly reduced, meaning that schools will be able to make the most of their new classrooms much sooner than if the traditional construction route were taken. We look forward to seeing all three schools open their new modular buildings, and to seeing students enjoying and making the most of their new environments.”

Construction at the three sites is expected to complete later this year. 

Property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Perfect Circle – a company jointly owned by Pick Everard, Gleeds and AECOM – was appointed by Essex County Council to deliver project management and quantity surveying services, which have been procured via SCAPE Consultancy, a direct award framework that drives collaboration, efficiency, time, and cost savings.

Tom Wint, quantity surveying associate at Pick Everard, said: “Modular builds are a new breed of structure that offer modern facilities and a greater level of flexibility and innovation. However, completing them for schools is still a relatively new concept. As a result, strong collaboration between all partners is required to ensure a successful delivery programme that is completed on time.

“When compared to traditional on-site methods, Essex County Council has reduced the overall project time by six months by opting for modular builds, which are a great way to save time and money on a scheme due to providing an efficient solution – allowing Sweyne Park School to open its new building at the start of the new academic year in September 2021.”

A spokesperson for Essex County Council, said: “It’s really important for us that all pupils in Essex receive the best possible education and that there is enough capacity within the county’s schools for every single child. We’re pleased to be working with Pick Everard on a series of projects to provide high quality learning environments and meet the increased demand for school places.

“Taking a modular approach to these schools will mean that we can provide these all-important spaces and additional pupil places quicker than using traditional construction methods. It is so important to minimise any disruption to the operation of the school – especially now schools have welcomed back all students.”

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Triton Construction has completed the delivery of a critical new £3.5 million extension for Chorlton Park Primary School in Manchester, despite considerable setbacks caused by the pandemic.

At the end of last year Triton secured the 12-month contract to demolish an existing 1960’s school block and replace it with a new state-of-the-art facility including 8 classrooms and a sports hall.  The works also included external drainage and landscaping.

The project was subsequently beset by considerable restrictions to site activity and supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.  Since it was imperative that the school was able to access the extended facilities by the October 2021 term, Triton anticipated shortage of materials such as bricks and glazing and pulled out all stops secure advanced supplies. It also recalculated an already complicated contractor works programme to adhere to restrictive distancing rules to prevail.

Chris Quinn, at Triton Construction, said, “We are delighted to hand over the extension to Chorlton Park Primary School on time and on budget, despite the various setbacks.  With prior preparation and planning it is not impossible to deliver, even in unforeseeable circumstances.  We attribute this to the fantastic collaboration between all parties to achieve a common goal and the school itself has been hugely cooperative and flexible.

Triton Construction has extensive experience in all areas of the education sector with recent projects including a £6 million refurbishment and new-build teaching facilities at Astrea Academy Woodfield in Doncaster, a £1.95 million extension to Bolton Muslim Girls School, a £2 million extension block for Pennistone Grammar School in Barnsley, and a new £1.75 million classroom block extension for Sharples School in Bolton.

In the last few years Triton has seen a significant increase in work across the education sector.Over the last 12 months it has completed 10 school extension or upgrade projects valued at over £25 million.

Triton’s learning sector portfolio also includes a new library and further refurbishments for Leeds College of Music, a £2.3 million High Needs Vocational Centre for Shipley College, a £3.5 million science block and state of the art learning link for Bradford Grammar School and a £4 million transformation of a derelict building to house Norfolk Park Special School in Sheffield.



AWARD-WINNING construction partner Stepnell has made significant progress with three of its education projects in the southern region – Gordon’s School, Canford School and The Woodroffe School.

The projects, which all include the development of brand-new facilities for students and staff, have recently reached substantial construction milestones and contribute to Stepnell’s ever-growing portfolio of education clients.

Located in Woking, Surrey, Gordon’s School’s new sports facility was completed last month (October) following a £6 million, 36-week programme that continued to progress throughout lockdown. The ultra-modern build – designed by NVB Architects – includes a 1,223 square metre sports hall with associated changing rooms and supporting spaces. Stepnell also installed a new, all-weather 3G pitch with the help of S&C Slatter to provide a high-quality playing surface for both football and rugby.

Rob Speirs, regional director at Stepnell, said: “We’re excited that Stepnell is continuing to strengthen its position as a leading contractor in this sector and we are proud of our involvement in these projects that will help to facilitate learning for generations to come.”

Susan Meikle, bursar at Gordon’s School, said: “We are delighted with our new sports hall. Stepnell has had to endure the most difficult circumstances while building it – both weather-wise and because of Covid-19. We are grateful to them for their skill and professionalism.”

Throughout lockdown, Stepnell also remained on site at Canford School in Wimborne, Dorset, which is now gearing up for the next phase of its new, 56-bed boarding house. The £3.9 million development, which also includes a garage and external works such as paving, asphalt, fencing and top soiling, is due to be complete in June 2021.

Rob continued: “Despite this project commencing on the first day of national lockdown back in March, we were able to maintain our build schedule and complete site work through the implementation of stringent health and safety precautions that – we believe – have been central to our recent successes.”

Stepnell has also demonstrated its success in the educational sector with its latest project with The Woodroffe School, won through Dorset Council’s Smaller Capital Works Framework, that is also due to start on site in January 2021. The £2 million development will include a new, two-storey teaching block with classrooms and a group learning space, library resource centre and additional office space to help expand the school’s academic offering.  

Landscape work will also be undertaken to include the creation of new footpaths in the surrounding areas, providing full accessible circulation to the ground floor and accompanying lifts for disabled users.

The year-long scheme will pose a number of challenges, including the navigation of a live site and logistical difficulties – with the stand-alone new build cut into a hillside to accommodate for the elevated terrain.

Rob said: “We will continue to remain on site throughout this next stage of lockdown as long as it is safe to do so. We are committed to delivering our projects on-budget and on time, but the well-being of our employees is of paramount importance. We will carry on implementing these health and safety precautions with full vigour while monitoring any changes in the government guidelines to make sure we are adhering to the rules set in place.”

To find out more about Stepnell visit: or join the conversation at @Stepnellltd.