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Gildredge House Free School

Clever conversation of Grade 2 listed building to create home for free school

Willmott Dixon worked with the EFA to build a new free school in the heart of Eastbourne.

Mrs Lea Gilbert — Head Teacher

"Delighted with our relationship with Willmott Dixon - setting the standard on which I judge others"

The free school is a combination of refurbishment (9,921m²) and new build (2,386m²), and by using Scape, we were able to engage with the client early, enabling works to be efficiently and effectively planned to ensure a phased handover so the school could partially open early for the September 2013 term.

Read how our manager won at the Construction Manager awards

The school was built on the site of the former Dental Practice Board. Our work included the demolition of single storey buildings, erection of a three court sports hall, a new performance space and a three storey extension. Newly landscaped play spaces and a large multi-use games area have also been provided.

It complemented the imposing original Victorian buildings, which a century ago housed Temple Grove Preparatory School, and the refurbished buildings which were added at the time of the Dental Practice Board in the 1950s and 1960s.

Gildredge House opened its doors to the first 176 students in September 2013. The school will continue this pattern at the start of each academic year and it has also recently been given permission to open its Sixth Form in September 2015.

Mrs Lea Gilbert — Head Teacher

I have high expectations for Gildredge House and our staff and students are well aware of our school motto: ‘Aspire’. We are all striving to be the best that we can be and this is what gives Gildredge House a real ‘buzz’.


  • Free school rejuvenates former NHS building
  • All through school from 4-18
  • Gildredge created through a combination of refurbishment and new build
  • Phased opening to ensure ready for start of 2013 academic year
  • Communication between team and teaching staff 'excellent'




The Heights, Building One

KT13 0NY

Tel: 01932 584700