Completion of Dixons Sixth Form Academy, Bradford

On Friday we handed over the remaining phase at Dixons Sixth Form Academy in Bradford. The final phase included the refurbishment of the coach house and the construction of a new sports hall. Built in the 1840s, Dixons Sixth Form is a Grade II-listed mill building and coach house formerly known as Douglas Mill. Prior to acquisition by Dixons Academies Trust, the mill was occupied by the NHS, who used the space for office accommodation. The mill was in relatively good condition and had previously been refurbished in 2005; however, the coach house was in poor condition. Last occupied 20 years ago, the coach house had been closed up. Following refurbishment, the mill and coach house, together with a new build sports hall, provided space for 880 pupils and the sixth form is the first in Bradford without association with a secondary school. The school are delighted with the new facilities and Wesley Davies, Executive Principal said: “I would like to thank Kier and the team who worked on the Dixons Sixth Form Academy project. The commitment, professionalism and sheer hard work was exemplary. The team responded well to any school request and ensure we have a school we are all proud of. The project was not without its challenges but these were always met with positivity, pragmatism and commitment to high quality outcome. It has been an absolute pleasure working on this project, I wish the team and Kier every success going...

The Roost Key Worker Accommodation – Government Property Awards

We are delighted to confirm that our P21+ project The Roost, Key Worker Accommodation at the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby was successful at the inaugural Government Property Awards yesterday in winning the Project of the Year category. The awards, which are organised by the Government Property Agency, will recognise best practice in the civil service as part of its aim to create working environments that empower staff and make best use of workplaces and technology, while also realising savings for the taxpayer. Procured via the Department of Health & Social Care our submission incorporated: The historic need for a solution at DPOW cannot be understated. The legacy stock, c200 units draining energy and resource were on average 60% occupied and had dilapidated to a point where refurbishment was not viable while Trust reliance on agency and locum staff linked to recruitment and retention challenges in key disciplines was impacting quality and financial performance. The average occupancy for the Roost during the first year of operation is consistently above 90%, 97% in November 2019. The facility has generated savings in energy costs and out-performed Y1 financial surplus projections by more than £200k. Customer and professional body satisfaction is 100% positive while crucially Junior Doctor fill-rates have increased...

RICS Social Impact Awards 2020

We are delighted to confirm that our project Astrea Academy in Sheffield has been shortlisted for the RICS Social Impact Awards 2020 in the Education category. https://www.rics.org/uk/training-events/rics-awards/ These awards are the only nationally recognised awards programme that show the impact our built environment has on people’s lives. They highlight excellence at a regional and national level, identifying the projects making a positive difference. The category winners and Project of the Year winner will be announced at the awards on the 5th June 2020. Well done to everyone involved with this...

Completion of Dixons Academy Douglas Mill Building

Last week we handed over the remaining three floors at Dixons Academy in Bradford five weeks ahead of programme. Formerly known as Douglas Mill, the mill was most recently used as NHS office accommodation until 2018, when the NHS vacated the building and it was bought by Department for Education (DfE) for Dixons Academies Trust. The DfE’s and Trust’s aim was to create the first sixth form unaffiliated with a school in Bradford. It was decided that Douglas Mill was the ideal building for this, being able to accommodate 880 pupils. The mill itself had been refurbished as recently as 2005 and remained in relatively good condition. Soft demolition was required to all floors, removing existing partitions and internal fixtures, installing infrastructure for the science labs and replacement of carpets and decoration. Features like kinetic light switches have also been installed. These are programmed to specific rooms and are charged by people walking past and the switching on and off of the light. These switches require no cabling direct to the light fitting. There were some structural challenges in the mill. Steel had to be installed within the 1m thick external walls for the provision of disproportionate collapse. The building also wasn’t square. All the walls were at slightly different angles, as expected from an 1840s building. The existing walls and vaulted, curved soffits were left on show, providing a unique and vibrant learning space for students. The project continues on site with the refurbishment of the coach house and the creation of a new sports hall, both of which are due to be completed in March. Dixons Academies...

National Apprenticeship Week 2020

Last week saw National Apprenticeship Week and we attended various events throughout the course of the week. The first event was the Leeds Apprenticeship Fair – an annual event which takes place at the Leeds Direct Arena. During the evening we saw over 6400 children and parents pass through the doors. We had Rhianna on hand to discuss her apprenticeship journey with those that showed interest in the scheme with Kier. Also attending was Sarah Topping, Claire Straughan from the North East and Angela Johnson from Housing Maintenance, who was inundated with people wanting to become electricians. The second event of the week, we headed up to Bradford to support NYBEP delivering the ‘Trading Game’ activity at Beckfoot Upper Heaton School. The ‘Trading Game’ is a fun and engaging enterprise challenge designed to give students a glimpse into the stock market while promoting core values such as problem solving and team work. The year 8 students were tasked with buying and selling shares and whoever made the most profit at the end of the event were the winners. Myself, Sarah Topping and Claire Straughan attended and we were given the role of Stockbrokers, so we were buying and selling the shares to the students. A very interesting morning, to which we learnt a lot as well! The third and final event of the week was the Careers Fair at Horizon Academy in Barnsley where we saw a range of students from different year groups following their parents...

Kier to deliver £15m leisure centre in Yorkshire

Kier has been appointed by Kirklees Council to deliver a £15m leisure centre in Liversedge, West Yorkshire. The project has been procured through the YORbuild2 framework. Spen Valley Leisure Centre will be built on the site of the original Spenborough Pool and will include a two-storey, two-pool complex. It will have a double-height foyer which will lead to wet changing areas as well as multi-activity space. There will be a mezzanine with dry changing areas, a gym, exercise studios and spectator seating. The project is due to start on site in early 2020 and the new facility is due to open in the autumn of 2021. This will be followed by the demolition of the existing fitness suite, releasing further external works with final completion anticipated at the end of 2021. Phil McDowell, operations director at Kier Regional Building Northern, said: “We have a lot of experience in delivering leisure centres across the country and are thrilled to be working with Kirklees Council to deliver the brand-new Spen Valley Leisure Centre. “The proposed new all-purpose facility reflects the desire to bring the leisure offer on the site up to current standards in a building of high quality, and to bring swimming and fitness under the one roof. It will provide a modern environment, with an efficient, simple layout and improved access to ensure it is accessible for all.” This latest win for Kier reinforces its position as a leading provider of leisure complex’s. It is currently on site delivering a £42m school and leisure development in Ponteland which includes a six-lane 25m swimming pool, a gym, climbing wall and...