Project to deliver 630-place primary school and 39-place nursery

Willmott Dixon has been chosen by Milton Keynes Council for a £8.8m contract to create a new primary school and nursery that will accommodate over 600 pupils as part of a wider plan for the Western Expansion Area.

Located on Calverton Lane, Watling Primary School and Nursery will provide local education provision for the housing developments of Fairfields and Whitehouse. Procured through Pagabo’s Major Works Framework, Willmott Dixon is working with project architect Synergy Architects to create the 630-place primary school and 39-place nursery with a multi-purpose hall that can divide into two separate spaces, as well as outdoor sporting grounds.

The 351ha Western Expansion Area is the largest expansion area in Milton Keynes and is comprised of two developments to create 6,550 dwellings. The area will have an estimated population of 15,000 when completed in early 2030 and the new school and nursery will play a key role in ensuring local amenities are available for the growing population while alleviating subscription levels at nearby schools.

Michelle Cotterill, director at Willmott Dixon, said:

“This continues our longstanding relationship with Milton Keynes Council following St Mary's Wavendon Church of England Primary School and Whitehouse Medical Centre. To support local social mobility, we plan to host work placements and employment taster days, provide CV advice and mock interviews, as well as present careers talks by liaising with existing schools. We will also be running an eight-week traineeship aimed at 16–18-year-olds not in education, employment or training.”

With sustainability a focus, Watling Primary School and Nursery will have three electric vehicle charging points, with infrastructure to serve a further 20, as well as featuring roof mounted PVs to facilitate solar power along with ground source heat pumps.

Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Milton Keynes Council, said:

"It’s incredible to see how quickly the teams are working onsite to create the foundations for this wonderful new school. Watling Primary will be essential for families moving to the area who want local, quality schools.
“We know that proper planning and reducing the environmental impact, will enable these schools to be here for many years to come."

Ian Joyce, Interim CEO at The Denbigh Alliance, said:

“We are thrilled to be part of this special building project and excited to be welcoming a new primary school into our Trust family. The school will offer exceptional learning opportunities for local children, with an emphasis on outdoor learning and play and a STEM rich curriculum.”

Ben Jones, regional manager at Pagabo, said:

“We are delighted to support Milton Keynes Council with the procurement of Watling Primary School and Nursery. This is the latest in a number of capital projects we have worked on with the council and we would like to congratulate Willmott Dixon and the wider project team on reaching this important milestone.”

The facility is expected to open to pupils in September 2023.

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