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Bestwood Hawthorne

New school
September 2019
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Originally built in 1878, Bestwood Hawthorne Primary and Nursery had outgrown its current building and needed a new home, so it could meet increasing demand for school places.

With a new 100-dwelling estate being built nearby, this demand was about to accelerate rapidly. The school wanted to be able to offer quality, modern facilities, where its team could nurture a new generation of local children.

Nottinghamshire County Council asked us to come on board to design and deliver a new school that could cope with both current and anticipated demand.

About the project

This project saw us work closely with construction partner Kier and housing developer Langridge Homes. We designed the new school building to make optimum use of available space on a tricky site – using 3D technology to map it out in an L shape over two storeys.

The main challenge was the sloping nature of the plot. In response, we plateaued the site on two levels. The school itself sits on the lower level, leaving space for playing fields on the higher level that meet Sport England standards.

Another issue was the site’s land drainage, as a large amount of surface water was being held on the top level. Our engineers used their experience and expertise to direct surface water into the main drains, making sure flooding wouldn’t be a problem for the school in future.


We have a strong track record of delivering successful projects with Kier, each completed on time and on budget. Bestwood Hawthorne is no exception.

The school can now offer more places to local children in a fantastic, modern building. It's a high-quality, energy-efficient learning environment with all the up-to-date facilities they need.

Our practical design made the most of the sloping site by levelling it out and building across two storeys. It’s a solution we arrived at after working closely with the school on creative ways to bring their vision to life. They were part of the entire journey, right through to the details of its interior design.

Thanks to some of the methods we used on this project, and initiatives of its own, Kier were awarded an excellent score from the Considerate Contractors Scheme. The project was also a finalist in the Best Public Service or Educational Building category of the East Midlands LABC Building Excellence Awards 2020.

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Key Outcomes

The £5.8m project at Bestwood Hawthorne was completed in September 2019. The brand new school offers high-quality facilities for existing pupils and space for up to 200 new children from the growing community.

The first phase has allowed the school to provide 315 primary and 39 nursery places, but the design allows for easy expansion, with plans to provide up to 420 school places in the future.

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