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Faithful+Gould safely leads re-mobilising of Harrogate Grammar School works during lockdown

Date: 21/08/2020

Categories: Case Studies

In an effort to combat a significant increase in the demand for local school places over the last five years, Harrogate Grammar School were keen to expand classroom space, create a central focal point, and find an innovative solution to the flow of pupils around the buildings.

The school is managed by one of our framework hosts, Red Kite Learning Trust, and in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council they engaged with Pagabo to procure a range of consultancy services that were required during the project.

Our Professional Services framework offered the school the ability to appoint from 19 lots of high-quality consultancy services through a quick and compliant procurement route.

The project required multi-disciplinary services, including design, project and cost management, structural and M+E engineering, principal designer and fire consultancy, with the Lot 1 provider Faithful+Gould appointed to deliver each of these services.



Overcoming the challenges of Covid-19

Following consideration of several options, the school decided on a two-storey courtyard infill extension, creating three new classrooms, and an atrium entrance to help overcome the congestion issues. Construction works began in January 2020 and were underway when the Covid-19 lockdown was enforced on March 23rd.

Construction on the site was suspended, with Sewell Construction safely closing the site whilst awaiting government guidance relating to construction projects. The school, in the meantime, was to remain open throughout the lockdown, for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

During this unprecedented time, Faithful+Gould worked remotely, liaising closely with Red Kite Learning Trust and Sewell Construction, to agree solutions for safely re-mobilising the project. A collaborative plan was drawn up, with commitment and cooperation from all supply chain members. Availability of subcontractors and procurement of materials were re-examined, to ensure the project could confidently continue.



After a three-week closure, works resumed on site at Harrogate Grammar School under strict safety guidance. These measures included:

  • only essential personnel to be present on-site
  • safe and efficient travel plan for all staff commuting to site
  • revised site access
  • safety induction for operatives
  • hand hygiene measures
  • site facilities cleaning arrangements
  • staggered shifts and breaks
  • food/drinks plan
  • avoidance of close working
  • maintaining distance where possible


When the steel frame was successfully installed, the school community joined the site team, at a safe distance, to celebrate the project and commemorate the pandemic times by adding their messages and signatures to the steel frame. This will become part of the school’s history, a poignant reminder of the events of 2020.


Jonathan Oram, National Framework Manager for Professional Services at Pagabo, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to see that despite the challenges faced, Faithful+Gould has led the project remotely, liaising closely with the client and site team throughout and to great success.

“Covid-19 has presented challenges in all walks of life, and with this comes the need for solutions to those challenges. Remote working is something we’ve all had to adapt to, and in the Professional Services world this is something that has been embraced, as highlighted by Faithful+Gould’s work on this scheme.” 

Despite the initial closure and the alteration to the programme as a result of site restrictions, it’s great to see that the project is still scheduled for completion in the autumn term. And most importantly of all, Harrogate Grammar School will have an exciting new environment, ready to enhance the student and staff experience which is an absolute pleasure to be a part of.


Peter Kemp, Associate Director at Faithful+Gould commented: "This project is a great example of how a strong partnership and collaboration between teams positively influences successful project delivery. Despite these challenging times, our teams effectively transitioned to remote working, formed new ways of working to ensure continuity and maintained our usual high-quality standards. The Harrogate Grammar School’s steelwork signing initiative has allowed both students and staff from the school to visit the site and they have added messages to commemorate and celebrate the development under these unique circumstances. We look forward to opening the doors to an exciting new area of the school, which will enhance the student and staff experience for many years to come.


More information below: 

Lindum support Red Kite Learning Trust

Professional Services Framework