Firm to build Bolton’s academies announced 

30/09/09

Bolton Council has selected its preferred bidder for the building work on the Essa and Bolton St Catherine’s academies.

Kier Education won the contract for the two new academies after presenting an impressive set of proposals for the Essa Academy. Having succeeded, the company must now create similar quality designs for the Bolton St Catherine’s site, which includes the rebuild of Firwood Special School.

The redevelopment of the academies will take place alongside investment in Bolton’s schools through the Building Schools for the Future collaboration with Blackburn with Darwen Council. The two councils will form a Local Education Partnership with a construction partner to be confirmed on October 5.

Kier beat off competition from three other large construction firms to become the selected bidder for the two academies. Both school estates will benefit from complete rebuilds, with work scheduled to begin at Essa in April 2010.

Kier’s plans for the Essa Academy included an innovative and flexible building design, upgraded sports areas, and 3-D performance spaces.

Councillor Ebrahim Adia, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “The plans put forward by Kier were really impressive, and will create an excellent learning environment for the academies’ pupils.’’

“I am looking forward to seeing the designs for Bolton St Catherine’s and Firwood in the near future, and to seeing the plans become reality.”

The Essa Academy is sponsored by the Essa Foundation and Bolton Council. A spokesman from the foundation said: “We were impressed by the way Kier was able to translate our vision into an exciting new estate. We are looking forward to the final designs, and opening of the new academy estate in the autumn of 2011.”

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