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Mansell to turn closed office into free school

Mansell will turn its London office into a free school, after it was announced the base would close as part of parent company Balfour Beatty’s restructure.

The contractor has been awarded the job to redevelop the Islington office for STEM Academy following a competitive tender process.

Balfour Beatty spokeswoman Louise McCulloch said the contract is worth around £4m.

Balfour Beatty announced it would close 35 offices and cut 650 UK jobs last year, including its Mansell office on City Road in Islington. The Mansell brand is also set to go at the end of this year.

Mansell employees will move to its parent company’s offices in Blackfriars and Victoria over the next few weeks as part of an effort to co-locate construction, civil engineering and M&E into one hub, Ms McCulloch said.

Transformation works at the former Mansell site will involve the strip-out and refurbishment of existing office facilities to provide teaching facilities for 432 pupils aged 16 to 19.

Work will include structural adaptations to create hall space, a business first area, workshops, classrooms and science laboratories.

A kitchen and dining area, flexible learning resource and new toilet core will also be provided.

Balfour Beatty said work on temporary accommodation will begin this July to provide for an intake of 216 pupils this September.

The permanent works will then proceed on a phased basis leading up to completion in summer 2014.

Balfour Beatty managing director for refurbishment delivery Liam Duffy said: “The programme and logistics will be challenging but we won the job because we were able to demonstrate our proven track record on schemes of a similar nature.

“It’s great to be involved in transforming one of our former offices into something that will support young people in realising their potential.”

Mansell’s former managing director Steve Waite, who became regional MD last year after the restructure, left Balfour Beatty in April.

His departure was announced as the group posted a £50m profit warning following problems across a number of regional projects.

Chief executive Andrew McNaughton took personal control of the UK construction business.

It was also reported this week that Balfour Beatty is seeking prospective bidders for its 60 per cent stake in Exeter Airport.

That follows news in February this year that the contractor is considering the future of its FM division Workplace.

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