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Willmott Dixon secures second Oldham academy

Willmott Dixon has signed a £26.3 million contract on the second of three academy schools in Oldham where it has been preferred bidder since March 2010.

Commissioned by Oldham Council, the contract will see Willmott Dixon deliver the new Waterhead Academy, sponsored by The Oldham College, on the site of the former Orb Mill, off Huddersfield Road.

The new building replaces the current Waterhead Academy and will open by November 2012.

It was designed by Aedas and will include indoor and outdoor sports facilities including a fitness and activity studio, floodlit artificial 3G pitch and hard surface areas for football, netball and tennis.

Councillor Jack Hulme Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Willmott Dixon. From the outset our vision with this scheme – and indeed for all three of our Academy school projects – has been to provide inspiring buildings that deliver the very best in secondary education.

“Waterhead Academy will also provide important facilities for the local community and the signing of this contract is extremely positive news.”

The new contract follows a deal being signed in September 2010 for the new Oasis Academy Oldham on the site of the former Brook Mill in Hollinwood.

Plans for the new EACT-sponsored Oldham Academy North – to be based on the current site of Our Lady’s, Royton replacing Grange School – are proceeding.

Willmott Dixon secured the work under the national academies framework. 

The company is committed to reinvesting a “significant element” of the budget into the local area as part of its local pound agenda.

Willmott Dixon managing director in Oldham Anthony Dillon said:  “With our offices literally round the corner, we are absolutely delighted that we can play a key role in helping develop three outstanding new places to learn and develop within our own community. 

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