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Willmott Dixon wins £15m Eton free school

Willmott Dixon has been awarded a £15m contract to build an Eton-sponsored free school with boarding accommodation.

Holyport College in Berkshire is one of the largest free schools to have been approved and will include a sixth form.

The school will have space for 500 pupils aged 11 to 19 years, half of which will be boarders.

It will be built on the site of a former special needs school on Ascot Road in Holyport, where Willmott Dixon will demolish some of the existing buildings and replace them with new teaching and living accommodation.

The contract was procured through national framework Scape and work is expected to be completed by September 2014.

Willmott Dixon managing director in the southern Home Counties John Waterman said the firm is delighted to be delivering the first free school for boarders and would work closely with Eton to deliver the project.

“As with all our projects, we’ll use local companies wherever possible, to ensure we use it to sustain jobs and help the local economy prosper from having such a prestigious College built in their region.

“We have a reputation as a considerate builder and will endeavour to minimise disruption for those who live, work and use the roads near the site,” Mr Waterman added.

In May, education secretary Michael Gove approved an additional 102 free school applications to open in September 2014, delivering around 500,000 new pupil places.

Last week Construction News revealed five firms had their contracts extended on the Education Funding Agency’s technical adviser framework for free schools.

EC Harris, Gardiner & Theobald, Jacobs, Mace and Turner & Townsend will continue to provide project management and technical advisory services to the current free schools programme until its completion in September 2016.

At Holyport College, Eton College will take a lead role on the governing body and the new free school will also be able to use some of Eton’s facilities.

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