The acceleration and development of the St Gabriel’s CofE Academy in Houlton has epitomised partnership working from its inception some four years ago through to its official opening in October 2018.
Our ethos for accelerating schools early in the lifecycle of our large sites was a perfect fit for a County Council facing acute supply problems in the market for school places, and so early discussions with education colleagues within the local authority resulted in a solution to bring forward the primary school.
We forged an innovative joint venture with the Diocese of Coventry to take forward a competitive bid to co-run the school whilst twin-tracking our substantive role as Master Developer in the design and build of the school through the expertise of our architects vHH and build through local contractor Stepnells.
Where the JV really excelled was in the collective strength of its component parts, with Urban&Civic driving the calibre and quality of school design as well as supporting on marketing and embedding the school into the rich history of the area. Navigating the local and national education landscape, governance and stewardship were key drivers for the Diocese, all framed within our collective goal of developing the school as a catalyst for growth and our mutual interest in delivering high quality education for the children of Houlton.