Esh Construction starts on Durham primary school building

A County Durham school has marked the start of construction of its new building with a celebratory turf cutting ceremony.

Teachers and pupils of Bowburn Primary School came together for the ceremony at the site of its new build which has received £10 million in funding from Durham County Council.

The new building on Surtees Avenue is being developed on the site of the former Bowburn Junior School. This follows on from last year’s amalgamation of the  junior and Bowburn Infant and Nursery schools to create the primary school.

Representatives of the council, including Cabinet member for children and young people’s services Cllr Olwyn Gunn, and Esh Construction, the contractor appointed to build the school took part in the turf cutting. The new building, which has been designed by Ryder Architecture working with the council and school staff, is expected to be opened for teaching after the Easter holiday in 2021 and will be able to hold 570 pupils. It will also have a 70-place nursery unit.

The school will provide world-class learning facilities for teachers and pupils. Cllr Gunn said: “It was wonderful to be at the start of construction of the new school for Bowburn.

“I am confident that this new building will support both the pupils and staff here at Bowburn on their continued education and learning journey.”

Throughout the contract, Esh Construction will deliver a range of social value benefits to support the community, including securing jobs for 15 County Durham residents and procuring locally and in Tyne and Wear.  They will also be spending time with schools to encourage pupils to think about future careers, as well as providing 150 days of work experience and offering apprenticeship schemes.

Gary Dobson, divisional director for Esh Build, Living and Facilities, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to deliver the new Bowburn School, located less than one mile from our headquarters.

“We have delivered over £60 million of work in the education sector in the past few years alone which demonstrates our capabilities within the area. Through this scheme we will deliver a comprehensive social value package, reflecting our ‘Constructing Local’ ethos and making a real difference to people within the local community.”

This new build school will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for 21st century teaching and learning, replacing the existing schools which are becoming too small for the number of children in the area and which are in poor condition."

Councillor Olwyn Gunn