News Willmott Dixon Wins Educational Facility

Kingswood, a provider of residential educational activity centres in the UK, has appointed Willmott Dixon on a £7m contract to construct its new flagship facility on the site of the former Earth Centre in Doncaster.

The 50-acre site will be transformed into the Kingswood Dearne Valley Centre.

The former Earth Centre has been vacant since 2004 and Kingswood was confirmed as the preferred purchaser of the site from Doncaster Council earlier this year. Kingswood currently operates nine educational centres which are visited by more than 145,000 pupils from 3,000 schools and 130 local authorities.

Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North said: “We’re delighted to be appointed on this project. Much of the sustainable technology that was installed in the former Earth Centre is still pioneering and our work will ensure that we protect and reclaim every aspect we can.

“We are also making sure that local businesses benefit as much as possible. For example, we monitor our use of subcontractors within a 10 or 30 mile radius to ensure as much work as possible is done by local companies. We will also work with Kingswood to reach out to local schools to keep them involved and informed as the project develops.”

Work to be undertaken by Willmott Dixon includes the refurbishment of existing buildings including the welcome centre, conference building, café, multi-purpose hall, class rooms, reception and retail space, laser quest area, climbing wall and many satellite outbuildings. Accommodation for pupils and teachers will also be built to provide 120 rooms.

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Willmott Dixon has a ten point set of environmental goals it sets on every project. This includes a commitment by 2012 to divert 100% of construction waste away from landfill.

The Kingswood Dearne Valley Centre will open with a range of facilities, including wind and solar power, waste water harvesting, biodiversity, recycling and new ICT labs – all of which will give students the chance to gain hands-on experience. Young people will also enjoy a wide range of activities such as a high-adrenaline ropes course, low height initiative exercises and performing arts facilities.

Work will begin in October and is due for completion in spring 2012.

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