Hope Academy

Procuring Authority:St Helens Council

Academy Sponsors:The Church of England, Liverpool Catholic Archdiocese and Liverpool Hope University

Design & Build Contractor:Willmott Dixon


Project Value:£30.2m (+ £2.4m ICT)

Pupil Numbers:1650 (11 – 18)

Gross Floor Area:14,207 m²

Project Type:100% new build

Completion Date:July 2011

Awards:2009 BSF Excellence Award – Innovation in Sustainability (winner)

Hope Academy, Newton-le-Willows, is a large new-build academy that specialises in sustainable development and has been designed and constructed as one of the most sustainable education buildings in Europe. It was the first school building to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating and the project achieved this significant milestone within the formulaic funding allocation for all BSF schools and academies. The academy was formed from two different predecessor schools and unusually did not open as an academy until the new buildings were complete. This introduced challenges in designing and constructing a building with no input from staff or the senior leadership of the eventual academy. Kerrie Norman was appointed as the PfS Project Director in October 2007 and used her technical and legal background to scope and agree a series of bespoke legal agreements that safeguard the academy’s continued use of a co-located local authority-run leisure centre. This detailed work ensured that VAT could continue to be recovered on the construction cost, whilst preserving the academy and local authority’s long term interest in the site, and the challenging programme was maintained. The outstanding academy facilities were delivered on budget and ahead of programme and provide a significant milestone for the design of sustainable buildings in the UK.