Balfour Beatty secures £43m contracts to construct two new East Lothian schools

Balfour Beatty secures £43m contracts to construct two new East Lothian schools

Balfour Beatty has been appointed by Hub South East to deliver two new primary schools in East Lothian valued at £43 million.

The firm will be responsible for the design and construction of the two new primary schools, located in Craighall and Blindwells, which will house state-of-the-art, modern teaching facilities and learning spaces for over 840 students.

The primary schools are required to meet demand from ongoing and planned house building in the local area, and on completion, will support East Lothian Council’s vision to develop a modern, safe, sustainable learning estate that enhances and supports communities whilst improving the lives of families.

The primary schools will be constructed using Passivhaus principles – a quality assurance process for the design and construction of low energy buildings – and will utilise high-performance windows and doors as well as mechanical ventilation with heat recovery to reduce carbon emissions, improve indoor air quality and reduce energy demand and heating bills.

In addition, as part of its commitment to leaving a lasting, positive legacy in the communities in which it operates, Balfour Beatty has committed to provide at least 20 employment opportunities for local people, as well as deliver a number of employability workshops, including drone and virtual reality sessions, at nearby schools and colleges.

Hector MacAulay MBE, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s regional construction business in Scotland, said: “This latest contract award is testament to our expertise and experience in delivering high-quality, sustainable educational facilities in Scotland and our proven track record of giving back to local communities.

“We look forward to working closely and collaboratively alongside Hub South East and East Lothian Council, to successfully deliver these new schools which will provide an exciting and inspirational learning environment for hundreds of children.”

Construction is due to commence next month with completion expected in 2025. At construction peak, Balfour Beatty will employ 200 people with 5% of its workforce made up of apprentices, graduates and trainees to support its commitment to The 5% Club.

Development partner Hub South East has worked on a number of learning estate capital projects for East Lothian Council, most recently Wallyford Learning Campus.

Cabinet member for Education and Children’s and Family Services, Councillor Fiona Dugdale, said: “I am pleased to confirm that we will be working with Hub South East on the next stages for Craighall and Blindwells Primary Schools through to completion.

“We have an established and positive working relationship with Hub South East. This has brought benefits in the delivery of multi-million-pound capital projects, most recently Wallyford Learning Campus, within a volatile construction market environment. These challenges, particularly in relation to inflation and its impacts on prices, remain and will be closely managed throughout the period to ensure we achieve Best Value while, at the same time, achieving the high-quality finish that we can see in our other projects.

“This is the first time we have worked with Balfour Beatty on a school new-build. They join an experienced and professional team of council officers, project managers and architects with a proven track record of delivering excellent learning spaces. I look forward to seeing both projects progress as I’m sure the families living and moving into the catchment areas will too.”

Andrew Thornton, Hub South East’s projects director, said: “We’re proud to have been entrusted to deliver the new Craighall and Blindwells Primary Schools, continuing our successful working relationship as East Lothian Council’s development partner.  

“The designs for these exciting new schools have been developed using Passivhaus principles, so pupils and staff will not only benefit from modern new learning spaces, the buildings themselves will be energy efficient and will assist our client in meeting progressive Scottish Government environmental targets. We look forward to working with our main contractor Balfour Beatty, for their first project since joining our supply chain, to make these plans a reality as we progress into the construction phase.”

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