By hiving off Sunesis, the designs of its standardised schools and leisure facilities can be licensed to other construction companies and delivered through any framework or directly to private sector clients.
Willmott Dixon’s fast-track Sunesis solution has proved a way for local authorities to reduce the time and cost of building new schools. There have been 23 Sunesis schools commissioned by 12 local authorities since 2011.
The idea is that creating a jointly owned independent company opens it up to the growing interest shown by residential developers in the ability of Sunesis’ designs to offer innovative alternatives to deliver their Section 106 requirements, with cost certainty and speed efficiency making it an appealing solution. It also enables Sunesis to be delivered outside of Willmott Dixon’s current operational range through Farrans and Robertson, partners on the Scape major works framework.
The company is in discussion with a developer on a Keynes2 model school to be built on a housing development in Bracknell, and is in talks with another developer on a scheme close to Southampton.
The three primary school models available are the Keynes2, Paxton2 and Dewey, each designed to cater for the latest educational needs. The Mondrian secondary school model and three Sunesis leisure options are also available.
Scape chief executive Mark Robinson said: “With two in five councils in England estimating they will not have enough primary school places by September 2016, the race is on to find a way to end this crisis. Sunesis is fast becoming the ‘go-to’ solution for councils who are under vast amounts of pressure to build 21st century schools which are fit for future growth, but with little or no additional finance.
“We have a proven track record with Sunesis, having already delivered thousands of places and with a client satisfaction rate of more than nine out of 10, so we know the system works. That is why we’ve taken the decision to create a limited company and roll the concept out to the rest of the UK.”
Willmott Dixon chief executive Rick Willmott added: “Sunesis has proved a very popular pre-designed solution with local authorities for their school requirements and as demand grows, it is a natural step to create a standalone company. This will open it out to other frameworks and allow us to offer a solution to private sector clients where we are already seeing huge interest. This is another way we can work with Scape to further our joint goal of increasing procurement and cost efficiency for our clients.”