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Works start on key SEND schools in Lincolnshire as investment continues

Four Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) schools in Lincolnshire will expand. This is part of Lincolnshire County Council’s £86 million investment programme.

The aim is to improve and develop special schools across the county.
 
Working alongside contractor Willmott Dixon, Newark-based landscape architecture studio Influence is providing landscape design services. They will be working on Willoughby School in Bourne, Eresby School in Spilsby, St Bernard’s School in Louth and The Priory School in Spalding.
 
The council’s investment strategy seeks to create an extra 500 SEND school spaces across the county. This is to meet the increasing demand and to combat families having to make long journeys to school.
 
Of the improvement works at the four schools, Willoughby, Eresby and St Bernard’s achieved planning permission in 2020 to construct extension buildings to existing sites. It enables more school places for pupils, as well as extra space for improved facilities.
 
Works are now progressing on the £6.5million expansion plan for Eresby School in Spilsby. This will deliver five new classrooms, a hall, IT and science spaces, small group rooms, meeting spaces and hygiene facilities.
 
Works also include enlarging the school’s car park. A canopy link will be installed, introducing new vehicle access points and fencing and landscaping around the site.
 
The £4.25 million works to Willoughby School in Bourne will see 74 new car parking bays provided. There will also be capacity for 20 minibuses and a new drop off and pick-up point at the start and end of the school day.
 
New fencing, lighting and CCTV security systems will also be installed. Safe, segregated vehicular and pedestrian access routes are included in the site design.
 
Works at St Bernard’s School, Louth, will see the demolition of two existing buildings. The plan is to build a new two-storey building, remodelling of existing buildings and the creation of extra car parking and hard play areas.
 
Construction on the schools is due to begin early this year. Completion is expected by early 2022.
 
Plans for The Priory School, Spalding are nearing completion and are expected to be submitted for planning shortly.
 
Shona Hatton, associate director at Influence, said:
 
“We are proud to be managing the landscape designs of the extension and improvement plans.
 
“The building works are part of the council’s ambitious investment plans to improve and expand SEND schools in the area. It will allow more places and improved facilities to children who will benefit from having safe, engaging and enjoyable spaces to learn and interact.
 
“We have worked on many schools in the East Midlands, including other SEND projects. It’s especially rewarding to see plans come to fruition that impact the services and quality of education available within our local communities.”
 
Nick Heath, director of delivery at Willmott Dixon, said:
 
“We’re proud to be working on these amazing schemes. With only 20 special education schools currently operating in Lincolnshire, we want to do everything we can to increase school places across the county. This will allow students of all ages easier access to the education they deserve.
 
“Despite currently being in a national lockdown, the team will continue to operate. They will adhere to stringent safety procedures and enhanced social distancing measures.
 
“This optimisation of risk management means that we will be able to deliver the project to the agreed timescales and improve educational facilities for students across Lincolnshire as soon as possible.
 
“At Willmott Dixon, we pride ourselves on leaving a legacy in the local communities we work among. We’re delighted to be working in collaboration Influence to help Lincolnshire County Council establish a school system that provides education that is accessible to all who need it.”
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