North and east elevations for the school, which is one of six Wates is building for the DfE. Credit: via planning documents

Approval for Wates’ net zero Wigan school  

The construction firm has been granted consent on behalf of the Department for Education to knock down and rebuild St John Fisher Catholic High School, located north-west of the town centre. 

Following approval by Wigan Council, Wates Construction plans to demolish the existing school, which sits on a six-acre site off Baytree Road and build a modern 91,000 sq ft facility. 

As well as a three-storey main teaching building, the project also proposes the creation of a 12,400 sq ft sports block.  

This will include a sports hall, fitness studio, activity studio and changing rooms. 

The school has been designed to be net zero carbon in operation and features various technologies designed to improve its sustainability credentials. 

These include air source heat pumps, low flow taps and showers and solar panels. 

These technologies, coupled with a fabric-first approach, are designed to help the school meet the DfE’s energy consumption target for secondary schools, which has been reduced from 75 kwhr /m2 to 55 kwhr/m2. 

“The redevelopment of St John Fisher Catholic High School will bring huge benefit to both pupils and the wider Wigan area,” said Dave Saville, regional director of Wates Construction North West.

“The scheme has been carefully planned to meet the varied needs and interests of the school’s students, with all works designed with sustainability at their heart. Wates is committed to building towards net zero carbon, maximising the use of MMC wherever possible. We’re proud to be delivering another scheme on behalf of the DfE which prioritises the environment in this way.”

Sheppard Robson designed the school and Avison Young is the planning consultant. 

St John Fisher Catholic High School, originally built in 1950, has more than 1,000 pupils. 

The redevelopment project is funded by the DfE as part of its School Rebuilding Programme, announced in June 2020. 

The rebuilding programme started in 2020-21 with the first 50 projects, supported by over £1bn in funding. 

St John Fisher is one of six school projects Wates has been appointed to build by the DfE. 

The construction company is also delivering Lytham St Annes High School, Littleborough Community Primary School and Nursery, Whitworth Community High School and Star Leadership Academy in Little Hulton. 

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