Ward Hadaway advises on trio of education projects | 27 February 09

LEADING North law firm Ward Hadaway has advised on a hat-trick of education projects, worth a total of over £60m, in the space of six weeks.

The firm, which has offices in Newcastle and Leeds, advised Nottingham City Council on contracts covering the Nottingham University Samworth Academy, Southwark Primary School and the Bulwell Academy schemes in Nottingham.

The projects will help to transform education provision in the city, modernising school facilities for hundreds of pupils aged from three to 19.

Ward Hadaway has been working on the three schemes for more than a year and a half, advising Nottingham City Council from the instigation of the projects to their recent successful financial closes.

Experts from the firm’s commercial, property, construction, planning, IT, pensions and employment teams were all involved in advising on the projects.

Melanie Pears, partner and head of public sector at Ward Hadaway, said: “These schemes will literally change the face of education for school children in Nottingham. To be a part of them has been very exciting for us as a firm.

“We worked very closely with Nottingham City Council on the projects to ensure they were exactly what the authority and other stakeholders wanted and provided the best possible result for the pupils and people of the city.

“It also helps to fit in with the Government’s national objectives of improving school buildings across the country.”

Nottingham University Samworth Academy will see a brand new £24m school built for 11 to 19-year-olds in the Bilborough area of Nottingham.

The academy will replace the current William Sharp School and will be sponsored by the University of Nottingham and David Samworth.

The academy is being built by the Local Education Partnership (LEP) which is a partnership between Nottingham City Council, inspiredspaces and Buildings Schools for the Future Investments and is due to be open to pupils by Easter 2010.

Southwark Primary School, Nottingham City Council’s Primary Exemplar Project, will cater for 630 children aged 5 to 11 and 90 children aged 3 to 5.

The £12m school is being built on the site of the existing infant school on Bulwell Lane in the Old Basford area of the city.

Construction, also by the LEP, started in January and is due to be completed by Easter 2010. It is one of the first primary school projects in the country to be rebuilt under the Government’s Primary Capital Programme.

The Bulwell Academy will replace two existing schools – River Leen and Henry Mellish. Both will operate from the River Leen site where a new academy will be built at a cost of £26m, sponsored by the educational foundation Edge.

Ward Hadaway also advised Nottingham City Council on the information and communication technology (ICT) aspects of all three schemes, working on the contract with ICT supplier Ramesys.

Last year, Ward Hadaway advised Nottingham City Council on three other BSF projects, totalling £90m.

Two new schools – a secondary school and a special school – are currently being built with another secondary school being substantially refurbished and re-modelled.

Melanie Pears said: “These latest financial completions mean that we have advised Nottingham City Council on either the rebuilding or the substantial refurbishment of six schools in seven months, which shows the real results of genuine partnership working.

“We continue to be instructed by the Council and are looking at the feasibility of further education projects across the city.”

Ward Hadaway’s public sector expertise has seen the firm in demand across the country.

The team is currently advising on capital projects worth a total of more than £2bn.

* Find out more about Ward Hadaway's public sector expertise.