Community-focused St Helens school scheme marks start on site

Topic Projects, Contracts

Date 05 Oct 2021

Representatives of Galliford Try’s Building North West business unit were joined by dignitaries from St Helens Council to celebrate the start on site of the Penkford Special School refurbishment project.

The £6.7m project, procured through the North West Construction Hub, will see the implementation of an ambitious social value programme, with over 20 objectives in place to assist learners and the community.

Already the team has instigated a Construction Club with partners to deliver outcomes and set up an exciting community project with Wargrave Special Educational Needs school to create an outdoor classroom and community café.

The construction programme itself will see the extensive remodelling and extension of the former Red Bank secure unit which had been left vacant.

The building will be converted into a new Social, Emotional and Mental Health School to accommodate a new 65-pupil cohort. The works include the modification of the internal arrangement of the existing school, three new build extensions, a new sports hall, canteen and kitchen area, a new grass sports pitch, Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA), external teaching spaces and a car park.

Darren Parker, Managing Director for Galliford Try Building North West, commented: “Social value is one of the key elements of Galliford Try’s Sustainable Growth Strategy and we are excited to be able to implement such a fantastic programme alongside the Penkford School. Not only will that value provide a lasting benefit to the local community going forward, but the new school is set to be a high-quality facility that will help provide the welcoming educational environment these students deserve.”

Councillor Kate Groucutt, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Business, said: “It’s fantastic to finally see work starting on this exciting project that will support young people across our borough who need the specialist care and education that Penkford provides. We are committed to make sure every child in our borough gets the best start in life so now it’s great to see ideas we have been talking about coming to life.

“We’re also delighted that Galliford Try are connecting with the wider community in Newton-le-Willows and are delivering a range of projects to support other schools and groups in the area.”

Anne Kyle, Head Teacher at Penkford School added: “The Special Educational Needs children of St Helens deserve the best facilities to learn in, as they already have so many barriers to learning to overcome. The whole school community, but especially the pupils are so excited and grateful to St Helens Borough Council for investing in them and their futures. We cannot wait to start our learning journey in our brand-new school.”