The £9.3m Airfield Farm Primary School is set to provide 210 places for children living in the new 924-home Airfield Farm development.

Willmott Dixon’s role supporting Leicestershire County Council’s roll-out of a new generation of net-zero carbon in operation schools continues after the council’s Development Control and Regulatory Board* approved plans for a second primary school, this time in Market Harborough.

Willmott Dixon will now start constructing the £9.3m school, which is set to provide 210 places for children living in the new 924 home Airfield Farm development at the northern edge of Market Harborough. It follows the company’s completion in August of the 210-place net-zero school in operation Hollycroft Primary School on the outskirts of Hinckley, which opened to pupils this autumn.

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Procured via Procurement Hub, the Airfield Farm Primary School will include teaching spaces for pupils with special educational needs, a multi-use play area, nature areas and parking and drop-off spaces. Bat and bird boxes will be installed to encourage wildlife. Technology such as air source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels to provide power, as well as careful consideration of building materials, will help the school be net-zero carbon when operational.

The school is being built using section 106 funding from developers William Davis and Taylor Wimpey and money from the Government’s Basic Need Funding for schools.

Cllr Deborah Taylor, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and families, said:

“This school will be a welcome addition to this new community, providing much-needed school places and a lovely setting for learning. We are committed to addressing climate change and it’s schemes like these that will support Leicestershire becoming a net-zero county by 2045. We look forward to seeing this new school taking shape.”

The school has been built in such a way that it could be extended to take up to 420 pupils in the future if needed. An academy trust to run it is due to be announced this autumn and a phased opening is planned from 2024 starting with reception children, with the school reaching capacity by 2030.

Louise Dodds, client relationship manager, Procurement Hub:

“It’s great that we have been able to assist in the delivery of a second net-zero school for Leicestershire County Council this year through the Major Projects Framework alongside partner Willmott Dixon. We look forward to continuing to assist Leicestershire County Council’s roll-out of the new generation ‘net-zero’ schools.”

*The detailed planning application for the school was agreed by the county council’s Development Control and Regulatory Board at its meeting on Tuesday, August 22. Outline permission had been granted by Harborough District Council in 2018.