Project description

Irk Valley Community Primary School forms part of a framework agreement with Manchester City Council to upgrade and renew a number of primary schools.

The two-storey school features a library, computer suite, fully-equipped kitchen and a recreation hall with a sprung floor, plus an outdoor multi-use games area, cycle tracks and a climbing frame.

The proximity of the River Irk meant that the site of the new school was situated directly in a flood plain, which was at risk of flooding once every hundred years. To address this, Morgan Sindall Construction worked extensively with the design team to ensure that the building satisfied the requirements of the Environment Agency and Planning Authority. The resulting school design incorporated stilts to raise the building from ground level, negating the flood risk.

Responsible business



Three apprentices directly employed by Morgan Sindall Construction gained experience on this project, and several more were created throughout our supply chain. As a training exercise, Morgan Sindall Construction arranged for the apprentices to build bird and hedgehog boxes, which were then donated to the school for use in its eco area. Morgan Sindall Construction also arranged for donations of tennis nets, a time capsule and a new kit for the school’s football team.

Liaising with the community was a top priority throughout the project. Morgan Sindall Construction regularly attended residents’ meetings in the evenings to build relationships and communicate site activities to those concerned. The group mentioned the poor state of repair of an alleyway within their neighbourhood and so Morgan Sindall Construction and the supply chain arranged to refurbish this area, providing landscaping, lighting and artwork as a gesture.



This project incorporated many sustainable features including rainwater harvesting, aerated materials, Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDs) and an educational ‘eco area’. Surface water will run into a new attenuation pond, which will become a haven for wildlife and provide a useful teaching resource. The initiative also reduces the amount of water discharged into the River Irk.


  • The proximity of the River Irk, which meant that the site of the new school was situated directly in a flood plain
  • During the project’s construction, the customer requested that an extension was built to increase the school from a 1.5 to a 2 form entry. This £1.9 million variation involved a major redesign, and had significant effects on the project requiring effective budget and programme management to ensure best value for our customer. Due to the robust processes in place, we were able to accommodate this large extension to the works in a very short timescales requiring only a four month extension of time to the overall contract period.


"The school looks superb and is a real credit to Morgan Sindall Construction. I’m sure we will be getting a lot of interest about the school. Well done to everyone who was involved with the project."

Bernard Core
Framework One Manager, Manchester City Council


BREEAM Very Good rating

North West Regional Construction Awards 2010 – Manchester Best Practice Award