The Bedford Borough Council Schools Programme

Constructing Excellence

The Bedford Borough Council (BBC) Schools Programme, a collaboration between Pick Everard (through Perfect Circle), Willmott Dixon, Bedford Borough Council, SCAPE, and NORR Architects, has provided thousands of new school places.

This decade-long programme underscores the significance of collaboration, shared objectives, and a culture of getting it right the first time, leading to outstanding educational facilities. Challenges such as tight schedules, evolving briefs, and working in operational school environments were successfully navigated by a consistent, local multi-disciplinary team, demonstrating the value of community involvement and teamwork.

Sustainability was a critical focus, aligning with the local council’s climate emergency declaration, mandating all new schools to be net-zero carbon in operation. The programme’s impact will grow, with more schools planned, reinforcing its lasting legacy.

Three Winning Facts:
  1. Social Value: The programme of works has been imbued with social value, with initiatives such as with pupils helping design a ‘Shedspace for your Headspace’ wellbeing area at Grange Academy in Kempston.
  2. Collaboration: A shared common goal is key to putting the needs of the school and the client at the heart of the project. This leads to a no surprises culture, where learning is shared and implemented to improve a school delivery programmes.
  3. Continuity of a project team: Maintaining the same team enhances project efficiency and effectiveness through continuity, allowing for the application of lessons learned and a consistent approach. This stability fosters greater collaboration and a deeper understanding of stakeholder and community needs, ensuring a tailored, responsive service delivery.