Willmott Dixon has been appointed preferred bidder by Northamptonshire County Council for its £55 million academies building programme in Kettering.

Working with Nicholas Hare architects, the company will design and build the town’s two new academies, Kettering Science Academy, sponsored by Brooke Weston Academy Trust, and Kettering Buccleuch Academy, sponsored by United Learning Trust.

First in line is Kettering Science Academy, where the local community will comment on the design prior to an application for planning permission in May 2010. Work is aimed to start on site in September 2010 with the buildings ready for occupation in September 2012.

Kettering Buccleuch Academy will go through a similar process of consultation prior to a planning submission with a start on site target for January 2011 and completion by September 2012.

Peter Owen, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, said: "We are delighted to have been selected to construct these prestigious new academies in Kettering. We recently delivered the Corby East Midlands International Swimming Pool and many of the team live locally, including myself.”
“As one of the most successful companies in the academies framework, we will bring to Kettering the benefit of our experience in creating over £400 million of academies in recent years.”

Councillor Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children and young people at Northamptonshire County Council, said, “The past year has seen big changes for Kettering in terms of the education of our children and young people with the creation of two new academies to drive forward improvement in performance and standards.

“The accompanying building programmes will have far-reaching benefits for the students they teach and the local communities they serve, with a combined total of £55 million to be invested in new buildings and facilities.”