North East education to build on new deal

September 3, 2020

Durham-based Esh Construction is well-placed to support the Government’s ‘build back better’ agenda, particularly in the education sector

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently reiterated his commitment to education as he announced a ‘new deal’, which puts jobs and infrastructure at the centre of the Government’s economic growth strategy. In a nod to Tony Blair’s famous 1997 ‘education, education, education’ statement, he said “we will build, build, build. Build back better, build back greener, build back faster and to do that at the pace that this moment requires.”

The Government pledged £5 billion of funding for capital investment projects, including over £1 billion to fund the first 50 projects of a new, ten-year school rebuilding programme. These projects will be confirmed this autumn, and construction on the first sites will begin from September 2021.

In addition, a further £560 million will be allocated for the refurbishment of existing school buildings and a further £200 million spent on further education college building repairs. Many of the new school upgrades will be in the North of England, where the Prime Minister must deliver on his ‘levelling-up’ promises.

The first projects are expected to focus mainly on secondary schools, where growth in pupil numbers will be greatest over the next five years.

Durham-based Esh Construction (Esh) is positioned to capitalise as it continues to deliver high-quality education facilities for the North East. The Queen’s Award-winning firm is ideally placed to support the Government’s planned economic recovery, delivering maximum economic benefit – through creating employment, training opportunities and procuring local – while constructing better, greener and more inspiring facilities to ensure every student gets a first-class education.

Earlier this year – before the coronavirus pandemic – Esh commenced work at Bowburn Primary School in County Durham. The £7.4 million scheme amalgamates the former junior and infant schools and provides a new 70-place nursery. The two-storey building designed by Ryder Architecture is due to be completed by spring 2021.

The firm will also soon break ground at the £4.1 million Willow Fields Primary School, located on the site of the former Maplewood School in Sunderland. The scheme includes the construction of a new one-storey building and the creation of a car park, multi-use games area and playground facilities. Work is scheduled to be completed ahead of a September 2021 opening.

This latest win sees Esh build on its experience in the education sector with its current portfolio boasting a number of landmark schemes in Newcastle city centre.

Northumbria University’s Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) Building has an eye-catching rounded glass exterior – its design provides maximum flexibility and adaptability of lab and seminar spaces through moveable acoustic walls, which allow different configurations for changing class sizes. The CIS Building was crowned as Newcastle’s Best New Building at the Lord Mayor’s Design Awards.

Continuing its successful partnership with Northumbria University, last year Esh completed the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Sutherland Building providing studio space, a student hub and academic offices.

Esh Construction’s education portfolio also includes the Northern School of Art in Hartlepool, STEM Centres at Middlesbrough College and Northumberland College, and the refurbishment of Teesside University’s Grade II listed Victoria Building.

Esh Construction
For further information about construction projects in the education sector, contact

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