New facilities at award-winning SEND school in Blackpool on target for summer completion

Work on the multi-million-pound Blackpool school expansion project at Highfurlong School, which commenced in July 2023, is on track to be completed this summer, ready for the start of the 2024/25 academic year.

Scroll down to find out more

Cassidy + Ashton is providing planning and design consultancy services on the scheme with Conlon Construction appointed as the main contractor.

Built in 2015, Highfurlong School caters for pupils with a range of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and provides education for pupils from all over the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Coast area.

The school, which won the ‘School of the Year’ award, ‘Blackpool Primary School of the Year’ and the ‘Blackpool Inspirational Teacher’ of the year award at the National School Awards in 2021, was built for 79 pupils. With 112 currently on the roll, it is operating at around 40 per cent above capacity.

Phase one new build will more than double school capacity

Designed by Cassidy + Ashton, phase one of the project seeks to increase the capacity of the school which caters for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The new building will also provide much-needed facilities to extend the programmes and activities that the school offers to its students and their families.

Funded by government funding for new school places and SEND, the new building will connect to the existing school via a covered walkway. On completion, the additional classrooms will enable Highfurlong to more than double its capacity to 180, reducing the need to use out-of-borough placements.

The building will also include a specialist teaching room for the delivery of practical subjects such as science, food technology and life skills.

The ground floor will comprise facilities for post-16 students, alongside a new kitchen. There will also be a community-facing café designed for post 19 students to gain employment skills.

Architect Dominic Read-Garrett, from Cassidy + Ashton said; “Our team is currently working on several school projects which is a unique experience. It’s very rewarding to create a space with young people in mind and to then see the long-term positive benefits they gain from our designs.”

£2m phase two hydrotherapy pool ‘will meet the needs of more children’

Cassidy + Ashton is also providing planning and design consultancy services for the second phase of development now under construction at Highfurlong School which includes a £2m single storey fit-for-purpose hydrotherapy suite. Blackpool Council approved spending for the scheme.

Dominic added: “Hydrotherapy helps children with disabilities to take part in exercises that strengthen their muscles, as well as supporting their general wellbeing.

“Significant investment is being made to ensure the temperature of the pool is maintained correctly, which is important for young people with special education needs. A dedicated lift system and sensory lighting system is also included in our designs.”

Phase two of the scheme at Highfurlong School is expected to be completed by November 2024. The new building has been designed and constructed to enable a second storey to be added in the future if necessary. It is also proposed that the hydrotherapy pool can also be used out of school hours by other groups.

“The combined schemes and new facilities at Highfurlong School will ensure that the needs of more children can be appropriately met locally and reducing the requirement for lengthy transport journeys. It will also enable the children to be part of their local community. We are very proud to be part of this important education project.”

  • Royal Institute of British Architects - RIBA
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - RICS
  • Royal Town Planning Institute - RTPI
  • iso9001
  • iso14001
  • abr

Thank you

& amp;nbsp;