Council chief joins to spearhead £100m pipeline of opportunity
is targeting a £100 million pipeline of orders within three years for its
pre-designed educational solutions following the appointment of Bedford Borough
Council’s head of school infrastructure and partnerships, Fran Cox, as its new
Cox joins Sunesis, jointly owned by Willmott Dixon and Scape Group, in the
newly created senior-level role to oversee ambitious growth plans, as
increasing numbers of local authorities and private developers use the solution
as a fast, efficient and cost effective way to meet their urgent need to
provide extra school places.
year the Department for Education forecasted that 750,000 extra school places
would be needed in England by 2025 to keep up with the population increase,
with schools seeing sixteen consecutive years of rising pupil numbers.
Primrose Primary School in Yeovil
aims to be part of the solution to this challenge and has already delivered 28
primary schools since its first school was commissioned in 2011, alongside a
further 40 Connect school extensions, creating over 18,000 new places in
total. It plans to deliver over 7,500
school places by 2020, with Fran’s experience in the procurement and funding of
new schools key to driving this growth.
currently offers a range of three pre-designed primary schools, the Keynes,
Paxton and Dewey, each in a variety of form entry sizes and with designs that
can be adapted by customers to meet their specific needs. All are offered with
absolute certainty of cost, time and quality – with fixed prices between £2.8m
to £5.5m and fast-track programmes to complete within nine months of being
Carey, Willmott Dixon’s national product director:
“Fran’s arrival is an
important next stage of our growth as an established provider of new schools.
Her experience at Bedford Borough Council will give us the quantum leap to roll
out Sunesis to even more customers, supported by our new ability to licence the
system for other contractors to build.”
Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, comments, “Fran’s experience in
commissioning new schools provides a real depth of insight into the needs of
local authorities and the issues they face. The country has a very significant
school building challenge ahead, with over 2,000 new schools needed in the next
few years, and Fran will help Sunesis to play a vital role in filling the gap
in school places nationally.”
has been a popular solution for authorities including Somerset County Council,
Isle of Wight Council, Warwickshire County Council, Lincolnshire County
Council, Plymouth City Council, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, London
Borough of Croydon and North Somerset Council.
councils facing ever tighter constraints on funding, Sunesis has prospered with
its pre-designed, fixed-price solution that has been refined through input from
teachers and education specialists into an optimum learning environment that
can last many generations. The proven designs come with supply chain guarantees
to ensure completion on time, a major consideration with timescales typically
focused on the important start of the school year in September.
“It’s a really exciting time to join Sunesis - there is huge
potential and having experienced Sunesis schools as a client, I know they have
already been extremely valuable to councils in meeting their chronic need for
new school places. Sunesis offers clear timescales for delivery, flexibility
where it’s needed, and absolute certainty of cost, providing an attractive
solution for local authorities. I am very much looking forward to driving
Sunesis through its next phase of growth."
innovation underway includes a new Keynes model that is fully EFA Output
Specification compliant, a new Connect range of standardised components to
provide fully flexible standalone or classroom extension options, plus a new
secondary school offer.