Highfield Humanities College

Highfield is an inspirational space for 11 to 16 years olds to learn; the new build features sweeping staircases and bright and spacious classrooms
Blackpool Local Education Partnership
12,482 sqm
January 2013
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
BREEAM Very Good EPC Rating A


As part of the Blackpool Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme Highfield Humanities College is an exciting new secondary school.

The new £24m school provides state-of-the-art learning environments for students and staff and the wider community.

The project comprised the construction of a 1,216 place school on the existing playing fields in close proximity to the old school which was fully occupied during construction. This scheme sees the new build school and demolition of the old building within a single footprint.

Designed by multi award winning, sustainable design Architect, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, the new school provides a stunning facility for pupils, staff and the community.

With a bold colourful facade of glazed tiles giving the school a strong identity, the school features eight learning zones with a shared learning area on the ground floor creating a lively environment for social events.

There is also a hub providing focus for generic learning, seminars, support, social gatherings and external spaces for the community. Now more than twice its former size Highfield Humanities College boasts many unique features including a breath-taking open plan refectory with high ceilings and an environmentally-friendly feature roof made from toughened glass.

The new facilities include a 350 Seat Theatre, Design Technology Suite, Drama Studio, Library, Music Suite & Recording Studio, Restaurant, 8 fully equipped science laboratories and specialist rooms, Sports Hall and Specialist Teaching Areas.

Following decant and demolition of the existing facility, external works and sports provision completed this scheme.


Blackpool Civic Trust Awards 2014

Winner – Best New Building

Blackpool Civic Trust Awards 2015

Commended – Best New Building

00_hard-hat_one   245 Apprentice weeks created   waste-recycled   99.9% Waste recycled   A screwdriver and a wrench. Vector icons for video, mobile apps, Web sites and print projects.   1103.5 Work opportunity weeks created   ccs-score   36.5/50 Considerate Constructors score

Key Challenges

The school remained fully operation throughout the build with key challenges including site segregation and access, safeguarding, communication, protection of the workforce, avoiding disruption, traffic and delivery strategy and minimising noise and dust.

To overcome these challenges we put the following measures into place: Clear signage and information, regular newsletters/web updates, logistics and layout to enhance safety and the site management team were DBS cleared.

Works were planned to avoid key times such as exams and open days with noisy activities planned for holidays.

The site team ensured that deliveries were scheduled outside school arrival/home times and we identified safe pupil and pedestrian routes, along with and drop off and collection zones.

Added Value

In support of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, Eric Wright Construction was fully committed to maximising local employment; and to providing local training opportunities during construction and operation of the new school.

Following our appointment on the Blackpool BSF Programme, the Eric Wright Group entered into a strategic partnership with the North West Apprenticeship Company to establish a Blackpool specific Apprenticeship programme with Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA), The Skills Company.  We also worked in partnership with Build-up, to provide employment opportunities, supported by training at Blackpool and The Fylde College.

The ATA helped our supply chain partners, subcontractors and internal teams to take apprentices for a length of time, aligned to the delivery of their work packages.

This approach enabled us to make firm commitments to Blackpool Council on the delivery of training and apprenticeship weeks and to make our contribution to delivering a sustainable workforce for the future.

We also held Meet the Buyer events to introduce local supply chain to potential subcontractor opportunities.


The objectives of the BSF Programme were to:

  • Raise the standard of education across Blackpool and the Fylde Coast
  • Improve Blackpool’s Economic Prosperity (By creating jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for local people)
  • Develop a safe, clean and pleasant place to live and work
  • Improve skill levels and educational achievement
  • Improve the Health and wellbeing of the local population

The new school was designed to act as an enabler to improved attendance, academic achievement, health, wellbeing, behaviour and sense of worth for the young people of Blackpool.


Client Feedback

“The children who have joined us today are likely to see the majority of the developments at Highfield while they are here. It's great for them to be involved. The finished school will be fantastic not just for Highfield but for the whole of South Shore and Blackpool as a town. To have something as unique as this in Highfield will be fantastic for everybody.”
Ian Evans
Head Teacher at Highfield Humanities College

“Both the school and the Local Authority were delighted with the overall scheme at Highfield which has been a credit to the whole team involved in the project. We have found the EWG staff very proactive when it came to problem solving and resolving any issues that were encountered. The team involved were very client focused and prepared to engage as a partner enabling successful delivering of this new school building. It is also worth noting that this new school was constructed on a existing school site whilst the school was in occupation.”
Ian Morris-Iliffe
Construction Manager, Blackpool Council (Children's Services)

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Get in Touch

For all enquiries, please get in touch with the team here at Eric Wright.