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St Matthew's CofE Primary

“I must commend the high standard of the finished product and thank all involved in delivering such a magnificent school. This is the best standard of delivery achieved by a contractor working for Plymouth City Council.” Ian Baker , Contracts and Project Manager, Plymouth City Council
Client satisfaction
Local labour within 20 miles
Considerate Constructors score

Creating new pupil places for Plymouth City Council

St. Matthew’s Church of England Primary Academy is a new school, located in North Plymouth and is part of a cluster of four projects delivered by Plymouth City Council, providing a total of 2,022 new pupil places across the region. 

The school was built using Sunesis, a joint venture between Scape Group and Willmott Dixon. The Sunesis approach has been adopted throughout the UK and is proven to significantly reduce the risk, time and cost involved in delivering new school places.

The project was delivered by Willmott Dixon via the Scape National Major Works framework.  

The academy was to be handed over in two phases, so that pupils had places in time for the start of the school year. 

Six ground floor classrooms and the reception office were handed over in September 2015 and the remaining area was completed one month later.

In addition to the school building, a fenced off multi-use games area and 42 space car park, bicycle store, bin store and PE equipment storage area were created.

Due to internal constraints in the approvals process, the pre-construction and mobilisation period was significantly reduced. 

This, teamed with complicated pre-commencement and occupation planning conditions, left little time for anything other than the upmost efficiency.

The presence of Knotweed on the site also caused issues for the build as it had to be eradicated before the construction could begin.

Despite initial timing challenges, St Matthews was the fastest Sunesis Dewey model built to date. Completed in 39 weeks, five weeks earlier than programmed, with zero defects at handover. 

The building has been carefully designed to accommodate 82 pupils with highly complex physical, sensory and medical needs and to support a further 150 children across Plymouth with similar requirements. The design also allows for on-site overnight respite to support young people with the most complex of needs.

Pupils at the school also benefit from an outdoor multi-use games area (MUGA) and ecology trails within the neighbouring woodland, which are inhabited by deer, badgers and door-mice.

Wilmott Dixon also provided £40,000 of labour, material and machinery to construct a new playground for children with disabilities, allowing the money already raised by the community to be spent on new play equipment for the children. 

It has been a real pleasure working with Willmott Dixon. It was such a contrast to the sort of service I have experienced with other contractors.

Mrs Andrea Smith, Head teacher, St Matthew's CofE Primary Academy

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Project statistics

Client satisfaction:8/10
Local labour within 20 miles:62%
Waste diverted from landfill:96%
Apprenticeship weeks:29 weeks
Work experience placements:18 weeks
Considerate constructors scheme:44/50
Construction :39 weeks
Frameworks: Major Works | England & Northern Ireland

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