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15 January 2019

State of the art Campus Whitehaven is officially open

An official handover event to mark the end of construction of the new Campus Whitehaven buildings will take place on Friday 18 January at 1.30pm. The event will bring together representatives from the organisations behind the project, giving them a chance to see how the new facilities have transformed the teaching and learning environment for students and staff from St Benedict’s High School and Mayfield Special School.

Wates Construction started the main build works back in May 2017 laying the foundations for the building’s mammoth 700-tonne steel frame.

Throughout the project, Wates has worked with Cumbrian suppliers, sub-contractors and local partners, generating over £25m of economic and social value.

The unprecedented £30million investment in the campus has come from a range of partners including The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Sites Ltd, Copeland Community Fund, and Cumbria County Council. 

The Campus includes new state of the art facilities for St Benedict’s Roman Catholic High School and Mayfield Special School and brings them together on the current St Benedict’s site, and will radically improve the teaching and learning environment and in turn boost students’ aspiration and attainment.

Wates worked with parents, students and the wider community on the design and layout of the new schools and sports facilities. The completed campus site includes new community sports provision and other facilities which will bring health and well-being benefits to the whole community.

Paul Vallance, the NDA’s director of communication and stakeholder relations said:

"Campus Whitehaven will provide an inspirational learning environment for young people and help them access the employment opportunities of the future.

"It will be an important asset for the whole community, offering access to top-class sports facilities and lifelong learning with potential to improve the lives of thousands of local people.”

Keith Hitchen, Chair of Copeland Community Fund Board, said:

“It is exciting to see the Fund’s investment of £3 million become a reality in terms of exceptional community sports and leisure facilities available for the whole of the Copeland area. We would encourage members of the local community and community sports organisations to take full advantage of what should be an amazing community asset.

“We look forward to ongoing development of the early community interest in the facilities, enhancing the opportunity to generate positive social impact in terms of health and wellbeing.”

Paul Dodsworth, Managing Director of Wates Construction North, commented:

“Marking the completion of Campus Whitehaven is the perfect opportunity to take stock of this exceptional project, throughout which we have worked closely with local businesses and the wider community to ensure its positive impact is felt long after we have left the site.

“Campus Whitehaven is an outstanding school that will enrich the lives of students, teachers and the whole community and we are very proud of what has been achieved on a complex but extremely rewarding project.”

Steve Bridgman, Acting Headteacher at St Benedict’s Roman Catholic High School, said:

"It is wonderful to be able to mark this significant point in the history of our school. The staff and, more importantly, students are already starting to take advantage of the opportunities given to us by the new state of the art facilities. About 5 years ago, we dared to dream about this and now, marvellously, all the planning and hard work has become a reality for the students and staff of both schools.

“It's an amazing gift to our communities, families and students alike. Our staff and students are settling in to the new buildings and beginning to enjoy the new facilities and technology. There has been huge interest from the community in the enhanced sports and leisure facilities.”

Gillian Temple, Headteacher from Mayfield Special School added:

“We have been involved with the design and development of this project since 2014. The realisation of these plans has delivered a truly amazing learning environment for our pupils, turning dreams into reality.

“The pupils have responded exceptionally well to the changes and are making the most of their new opportunities. We are all proud to be part of Campus Whitehaven.”

Cllr David Southward, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said:

“This is a wonderful moment to celebrate and I’m delighted that we can finally see the realisation of what was once just an idea. There’s been a huge amount of work by all the partners to get to this end point and it’s genuinely exciting to think about what this Campus will do for local young people and the area as a whole.”

An official handover event to mark the end of construction of the new Campus Whitehaven buildings will take place on Friday 18 January at 1.30pm.