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Plans approved for Abbey Farm Primary School in Swindon

Plans have been approved for a new primary school in North Swindon, designed by HLM Architects working with Reds10.

The school is for the Department for Education (DfE) and will be operated by the Educate Together Academy Trust, who provide an ethical and values curriculum suited to a rapidly changing world at four primary schools in the South West.

The new school at Abbey Farm forms part of a wider residential-led mixed-use development by Redrow for 350 dwellings located near the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The scheme is situated on a 4.6-acre (1.9-hectare) site off Lady Lane and will have capacity for up to 460 pupils from the local community.

We were appointed as project lead for the full design and construction, with the school to be constructed using modern methods of construction. HLM Architects is managing the architecture and interior design aspect with MAC Consulting handling landscape design. Design ID will lead on the structural and civils design and Delap and Waller on the mechanical and electrical works and plumbing.

The project, which we submitted for Planning Application in just 13 weeks of appointment, is the first in the Department for Education’s (DfE) £3 billion Offsite Schools Framework, which runs for four years and will deliver its next generation of offsite schools across England. It supports a wider government move towards modern methods of construction (MMC) as a preference for new build projects and reinforces the desire of the DfE to continue the commitment to MMC for education projects.

“The design of this school is intended to provide a future-proofed, sustainable facility that will allow students and staff to thrive in a nurturing, comfortable learning environment. Thanks to the use of SMART building technology, the facility will meet the strongest principles in energy efficiency and management, to provide a high-quality yet low maintenance building. Using MMC, most of the construction will take place offsite, which will provide benefits from reducing time on site, minimising disruption, as well as quickening the building process - all while delivering a quality and efficient space that will benefit students and staff for years to come.”

Paul Ruddick, Reds10 CEO

“It’s great news for parents and children that the new school at Abbey Farm has been given the go ahead. As a Council we have a strong track record of providing new schools and I would like to thank everyone for all of the hard work involved which has made this happen. This new primary school will provide top-class facilities and a quality learning environment for up to 460 pupils in North Swindon, giving them the perfect platform to flourish as they begin their school journey.”

Councillor Russell Holland, Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council and the Cabinet Member responsible for Education

“We have really enjoyed working with the DfE and the Trust, taking forward their brief and vision for this new primary school into design proposals. Our approach has been centred on creating an environment that both satisfies the Department’s requirements for future teaching and learning, as well as the values and aspirations of the Trust for the individual’s development. The design responds respectfully to the local environment through the use of natural materials. The incorporation of windcatchers and solar panels provides a sustainable building design for the Trust. We are looking forward to seeing the project through the next stages of design development with Reds10 and the team.”

Claire Wakelin, London Studio Director, HLM Architects

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