Wigan schools set to become net-zero with sustainable redevelopment

Jun 22, 2022 | Sustainable Development

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Plans for net-zero schools in Wigan are underway, with construction companies appointed to carry out the projects.

Fred Longworth High School and St John Fisher Catholic High School are two of the four Wigan schools earmarked for sustainable redevelopment under the Department for Educations £1bn School Rebuilding Programme.

BAM has been appointed by the Department for Education to redevelop Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley, Wigan.

Plans will increase the capacity of the net-zero school from 1,275 students to 1,350 while simultaneously using technologies to reduce carbon emissions. The plans are to build a new three-storey net-zero teaching block in the first phase, then demolition of existing buildings and the construction of sports buildings in the second phase.

Works will include dealing with contamination in the ground and Japanese knotweed as well as adding in new drainage. BAM will develop carefully co-ordinate traffic access and logistics plans to overcome restricted access to the site and has already taken steps to reduce deliveries and thus carbon emissions by increasing on-site storage solutions.


The second Wigan School to benefit from sustainable redevelopment is St John Fisher Catholic High School located northwest of the town centre.

Wates Construction has been appointed to work on the project delivering a school which is net-zero carbon in operation.

Wates Construction plans to demolish the existing St John Fisher Catholic High School and build a modern 91,000 sq ft facility. Plans include a three-storey main teaching building and a 12,400 sq ft sports block which will include a sports hall, fitness studio, activity studio and changing rooms.

The school will incorporate technologies designed to improve its sustainability including, air source heat pumps, low flow taps and solar panels.

These technologies, coupled with a fabric-first approach, are designed to help the school meet the Department for Education’s energy consumption target for secondary schools, which has been reduced from 75 kwhr/m2 to 55 kwhr/m2.

Dave Saville, regional director of Wates Construction North West says, “The redevelopment of St John Fisher Catholic High School will bring huge benefit to both pupils and the wider Wigan area.
“The scheme has been carefully planned to meet the varied needs and interests of the school’s students, with all works designed with sustainability at their heart. Wates is committed to building towards net-zero carbon, maximising the use of MMC wherever possible. We’re proud to be delivering another scheme on behalf of the DfE which prioritises the environment in this way.”

The redevelopment project for Wigan Schools is funded by the Department for Education as part of its School Rebuilding Programme, announced in June 2020. The rebuilding programme started in 2020-21 with the first 50 projects, supported by over £1bn in funding.

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