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Hope Academy 1650 student secondary school and sixth form, Liverpool

New build, 1650 place secondary school that includes a 300 place sixth form

Willmott Dixon have been exceptional in accommodating the group and organising a tour of the construction site on a regular basis. In the 20 years I have represented Newton on St Helens Council I have never come across a company that engaged throughly with the community. They have been outstanding and I would like to put on record my thanks and appreciation to Willmott Dixon for not only giving us a beautiful academy but also for the way they have found time to involve schools and the local community throughout Councillor Suzanne Knight on behalf of St Helens Council

Hope Academy is a new build, 1650 place secondary school that includes a 300 place sixth form, located in Newton le Willows, Lancashire. It is jointly sponsored by the Anglican and Catholic dioceses of Liverpool and Hope University, and replaced the former Newton le Willows High School.

The internal configuration is perfectly flexible to allow different layouts of furniture and rooms to meet changing teaching styles as teachers require. Some of these changes can be done between lessons, by the simple reconfiguration of furniture or the opening and closing of flexible walls. More permanent changes can be easily accommodated by minor works within a school holiday.

There is a strong emphasis on the themes of sustainability and Christian values. A multi- faith space is located at the front of the academy – a space for people of all faiths and no faith.

The Science faculty is based around the concept of the Project Farraday design, with a range of laboratories, demonstration facilities and break-out spaces.


  • Award for Innovation in Sustainability at the Excellence in BSF Awards 2009.
  • Constructed on a live school site, with no disruption to the existing school and no interruption of teaching and learning while we were on site.
  • Each of the five mini schools within the academy has a different sustainability focus – recycling, energy, water, materials, and air. These themes are reflected in the design and fabric of each school, providing a true learning experience.

The wind turbines were installed very early during the construction phase, so that the site compound and works benefited by power generated on site, as opposed to the use of mains electricity or generators. This meant that the scheme had a Zero Carbon site compound – a very rare occurrence for the construction industry.

The academy is ICT rich, both internally and externally, giving true meaning to the concept of “learning anywhere, anyhow”.

The design of the academy benefited from significant input from the local authority client and sponsors. It is a bespoke solution to local requirements and philosophies while providing an outstanding teaching environment.

Wind turbines provide off-peak electricity, photovoltaic panels generate energy, and heating and hot water is supplied by renewable biomass sources on site; features which not only benefit the environment but our pupils, whose study of sustainable development represents our school specialism.

"Representing an investment of £33 million, Hope Academy is one of the most sustainable and highly specified education buildings in the UK and Europe. Truly exceptional facilities include 12 outdoor interactive learning spaces, a kitchen garden, science garden, sustainability garden and attenuation pond, with a wireless internet system covering the whole site enabling fully accessible outdoor working."


  • The design is based around five schools within a school model, plus a sixth form.
  • These provide a more personalised environment for students, but within the overall support structure of a successful and thriving wider school community.
  • The sixth form is located in a high profile location so that younger students can see a natural progression into study beyond the age of 16 years.
  • It is a space to which students are encouraged to aspire.




Hollinwood Business Centre, Albert Mill, Albert Street, Hollinwood, Oldham, Lancashire


Tel: 0161 947 3960

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