Category Archives: Infrastructure

Innovative Digital Health Hub For South Yorkshire

A new £4 million digital healthcare hub to tackle healthcare inequalities is set to transform how patients are treated in South Yorkshire.

The South Yorkshire Digital Health Hub, led by the University of Sheffield, will drive the development of innovative digital technologies to improve the way diseases are treated and diagnosed by using cutting-edge research using data from smartphones, wearables, new sensors, combining this with NHS data and using artificial intelligence to develop new clinical tools.

The hub will bring together a range of partners, including the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, GPs, mental health services, the Sheffield Integrated Care System in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, businesses and patient and public groups, to share knowledge, skills and build upon the existing regional strength in developing innovative digital health technologies.

Sheffield is one of five hubs across the UK to be awarded part of £16.5 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Health Ageing and Wellbeing and Tackling Infections UKRI Strategic Themes.

The hubs will focus on four key healthcare challenges:

  • Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Health and care outside hospital and disease prediction, diagnosis and intervention
  • Tackling health inequalities by developing digital healthcare technologies to the point of use in the NHS
  • Addressing the health needs of underserved communities

    The South Yorkshire Digital Hub will cover a region of 1.4 million people affected by high levels of disease and health inequalities. The hub will respond to unmet needs of urban and rural populations which are shaped by significant health and social inequalities.

    It will also offer new opportunities for improving health and economic growth in the region through digital skills training and sharing, networking and knowledge exchange, connecting diverse stakeholders in digital health from academia, healthcare, industry, public and private organisations, and the wider public.

    The hub will offer specialist health training for researchers, clinicians, patients and the public, made freely available online.

    Professor Tim Chico, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine from the University of Sheffield and Director of the South Yorkshire Digital Health Hub, said: “People in South Yorkshire are affected by widening health inequality and high levels of disease, including heart and lung disease, cancer and mental health issues. This investment in cutting-edge health technology research aims to tackle the issue by developing digital healthcare to use in the NHS and benefit patients in our region and beyond.”

    “The hub will allow colleagues from healthcare, academia, business and patients to come together to drive pioneering digital health which will transform the way we treat and diagnose diseases and most critically improve health.”

    Professor Steve Haake is the Deputy Director of the Digital Health Hub, which will be based at Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre. He said: “The establishment of the South Yorkshire Digital Health Hub is a fantastic opportunity for the region.”

    “Our vision is to develop digital health tools that incorporate information from daily life to help patients and healthcare professionals make the right decisions at the right time. The hub will support patients, clinicians, companies and the general public to design their own apps and tools and help them to be used successfully in the NHS.”

    Oliver Coppard, Mayor of the South Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “The Digital Health Hub will help advance our plans to address the health inequalities holding our region back. South Yorkshire being at the forefront of this work is a testament to the ever-increasing collaboration between the NHS, our Universities and our business community, and yet more evidence of the strength of our cutting-edge health and wellbeing sector.”

    “As ever, South Yorkshire is rising to the challenges facing our region in a way that is truly world-leading.”

    The Digital Healthcare Hubs are part of a wider £36.5 million investment in healthcare technology from EPSRC.

    Dr Kedar Pandya, Executive Director of Cross-Council Programmes of EPSRC, said: “The projects and hubs announced today will deliver a variety of innovative approaches to improve healthcare outcomes for patients.”

    “This investment will support scientists and engineers who are transforming the way we treat and diagnose diseases by using the latest developments in robotics, computer modelling and imaging.”

£3.5 Million To Boost Travel Around Wakefield

Wakefield Council’s decision makers will be asked to give the green light to £3.5million of transport improvements when they meet next week.

Following successful recent bids, the district is set to benefit from £2.8million of funding from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund and £720,000 of funding from Network Rail. The Active Travel Fund will support the completion of two schemes which will make it easier and safer for residents to walk and cycle around the district.

This includes £2.55million to extend the existing Dando Way to provide a link between Ackworth and Fitzwilliam for cycling and walking and to upgrade part of the existing route in Ackworth. The route will be widened to provide more space for cycling and walking. The upgrading of existing paths around the southside of Fitzwilliam Country Park will allow walking and cycling access to the railway station at Fitzwilliam all year round.

The funding from Network Rail will allow for improvements to be made in and around Castleford Train Station.

Cllr Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, commented on the Active Travel funding: “Active travel creates healthier lifestyles and a healthier environment, and that’s why we want to make it easier for our residents to choose alternatives to using a car, by improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists and access to employment and train stations.”

Cllr Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth, said of the Network Rail funding: “It is important that as part of our regeneration plans for Castleford we re-connect key parts of the town. Making it easier, safer, and more pleasant to walk from the train station to the town centre is central to us doing that.”

“This will give our local businesses a real boost and bring more money into the town centre, as well as contributing to a greener district. The station improvements in 2022 have already had a significant impact and received positive feedback. It’s great to continue the positivity around the station and the surrounding area.”

The other £224,171 scheme which will be completed from the Active Travel Fund is to upgrade part of Grandstand Road at Outwood by resurfacing and widening a 500m section of path that connects Outwood railway station to the Junction 41 Industrial Park and a new pedestrian crossing on Lingwell Gate Lane.

For Castleford train station, improvements to the town’s transport hubs are an important part of the Council’s ambitious regeneration plans for the town centre. Currently the routes from the train station to the shops, bars and cafes are disconnected.

The funding will allow for further lighting and CCTV to ensure that residents and visitors feel and are safer when walking through town, as well as increasing its visual appeal through the installation of new and vibrant artwork, signage, green areas and new seating.

The decision will be taken at the next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13 June.

New Rural Enterprise Centre Opens In The Dales

An impressive rural enterprise centre perfectly situated in North Craven, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, has officially opened its doors – supporting 30 new jobs.

Civic dignitaries, officers and special guests gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the £3.5 million Langcliffe Quarry Enterprise Centre near Settle, North Yorkshire, on January 25th.

During the opening ceremony invitees were given a tour of the site and workspaces. The former Craven District Council waste depot has been given a new lease of life and the facility now boasts restored and refurbished stone buildings as well as the construction of eight business units, three new buildings and a brand-new public car park.

The refurbishment of the traditional stone barn (former garage and depot) – The Enterprise Hub – now provides a range of flexible and bespoke office space to accommodate a variety of business needs. Oozing in character, it offers three meeting/training rooms (ideal for holding meetings, seminars, client presentations and conferences), a co-working space with 14 hot-desks and five incubator/private offices.

The facility, which also lies next to the Settle-Carlisle railway, has been funded by Craven District Council, York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Proud of the development, Craven District Council’s lead member for enterprising Craven and Chairman of the Council, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “The enterprise centre is a great asset and we are thrilled that it’s open for business. This scheme will help provide much-needed workspace in the district. We know there is a strong demand for modern, flexible workspace for new and existing small businesses in Craven. This has proved to be even more important as we came out of the coronavirus lockdown and felt we needed more and more local employment. This facility in our rural district is an excellent example of creating new spaces that provide the tools that businesses need to thrive in today’s economic landscape.”

Similar views were shared by the Chief Executive of Craven District Council, Paul Shevlin, who said: “The Enterprise Centre is a fitting legacy the district council is leaving behind. The fantastic and much-needed development of a purpose-built enterprise centre – the first facility of its kind in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – will provide a sound basis for contributing to the local economy and will enable small businesses to grow. I would like to thank everyone involved for turning this ambitious project into a reality.”

A range of enterprises are now expected to make the centre, which is perfectly situated in an area of outstanding beauty and close to the historic Hoffmann Kiln, their new home. Tenants will have the benefit of full fibre connectivity, providing some of the fastest broadband speeds available thanks to Broadband for Rural North (B4RN).

Among the first tenants to sign up is Andrew Jones, who runs Yorkshire Dales Classics Limited. He describes Langcliffe as a great location for small or start-up companies and easily accessible for large parts of Craven. He explained further: “We moved house from Baildon to the area last February, so Langcliffe is an ideal location to move my business premises to. There is a real shortage of small to medium sized units available in the Settle area. The units benefit from being modern and well insulated with the added bonus of superfast broadband availability from B4RN. Plus, lease terms are sensible and there is the opportunity to use the Hub facilities if required.”

Commenting on the support for economic growth, David Dickson, Chair of Place & Infrastructure Board at York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The new facilities are great and will support economic growth across the area. We’re pleased to have supported the scheme with Local Growth Fund investment and we look forward to seeing the site flourish in the years to come. It’s a fantastic place to do business.”

Meanwhile, Dehenna Davison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Levelling Up), said: “I am pleased to hear that the Langcliffe Quarry Enterprise Centre has officially opened and that £1.6million of Government funding from the Local Growth Fund, awarded to York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, was used to support this project. Small and medium-sized enterprises are vital to growing our economy, driving innovation and supporting the Government’s commitment to levelling up across the country, especially in our rural communities. I’m hopeful that the new facilities will help propel businesses to reach their full potential.”

Hailing the development a “great place to work,” Member Champion for Development Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Jim Munday, commented: “A significant economic development project in the Craven district was promised in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan 2019-24. The Langcliffe Enterprise Centre is it. The site is rich in wildlife and amazing old Craven Limeworks buildings such as the atmospheric Hoffmann Kiln. Craven District Council took on a difficult challenge in redeveloping the site but it has been rewarded. The Langcliffe Enterprise Centre will provide a really attractive place for businesses in the National Park and will benefit the long-term management of this nationally-important site.”

The facility has been built to extremely high environmental standards by Sutcliffe Construction, using innovative construction techniques and modern materials, including the installation of roof-mounted Solar PV panels, rainwater collection, low voltage lighting and low emissivity glass. The design means that the buildings will be highly energy efficient when in use.

James Sutcliffe, Managing Director of Sutcliffe Construction Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to have handed over phase one of the Langcliffe Quarry Enterprise Centre, our first major project for Craven District Council. Due to the site being of historical importance, the works required careful and considerate planning, with many consultants and agencies involved, including Historic England and Ecology and Arboricultural consultants, to ensure the protection of local wildlife and the environment.”

The project has funded the ongoing operation and management of the site. This includes the post of a Rural Business Development Officer who will be responsible for managing the enterprise hub and provision of wider business support both on-site and off-site, covering the more remote rural areas of the district.

Cabinet Supports New Plans To Regenerate Western Docklands

Hull City Council’s Cabinet has today announced its support for the Western Docklands Masterplan, giving the green light to consultation with residents and business owners on the exciting plans.

The Western Docklands area lies between Albert and William Wright Dock, Castle Street and the Smith & Nephew site.

This masterplan suggests a range of different uses for the site, with a strong focus on employment land to the west, and residential/commercial and leisure land to the east.

The council wants to know the views of Hull residents, as well as local businesses in the area. A six-week consultation will begin on Monday 6 February and run until Friday 17 March. The plans also seek views on the future of the Hull Ice Arena and Kingston Retail Park.

Local businesses, residents and the wider public will all be invited to take part through a series of in-person drop-in sessions and an online survey.

The masterplan also sets out how it could create a better link to the marina and Fruit Market area. The proposals also include a cruise terminal for the Western Docklands.

Sammy’s Point was originally earmarked as the location for this, but it is now proposed that the terminal be located at the Bull Nose at the eastern end of Albert Dock.

Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: “The Western Docklands is a key landmark location within the city, being beside the waterfront, but also being the gateway for people driving into the city.”

“It’s a site with enormous potential and the masterplan provides a clear framework for how the site could offer high-quality city living and employment in the years ahead.”

“I support the masterplan and look forward to hearing the views of landowners, businesses and residents across the city on how they would like to see the area develop.”

More information, such as interactive maps and forums, plus the chance for the public to have their say, will be available online.

Posters about the Western Docklands Masterplan will be placed in various locations in Hull, with a QR code for the online consultation.

Any responses to this consultation will be considered by the council in drafting a final version of the masterplan, which will then be presented to Cabinet later this year.

Hull Councillor Joins In With Cycle Path Clean Up Operation

Councillor Mark Ieronimo went ‘back to the floor’ as he joined Hull City Council’s dedicated cycle path team for a morning’s work.

Donning high-vis gear and wielding a litter-picker, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Roads, Highways and Transport mucked in with the team as they tidied up a cycle path near Priory Road.

Armed with leaf blowers, hedge cutters, grass trimmers, bin bags and a road sweeping vehicle, the team cleared the path before jumping back in their vans and moving on to the next one.

The council has three two-person teams that ensure Hull’s off-road cycle tracks are clear and safe for cyclists. The teams were set up in 2020, and mainly cover three main routes, which follow old railway lines: the Hornsea, Withernsea and the Cottingham branch lines.

Their tasks include fly-tip removal, litter-picking, sweeping, emptying litter bins, strimming and cutting back vegetation. They also focus on gritting and removing fallen leaves to prevent slip hazards, and removing glass to reduce the risk of punctures.

Cllr Ieronimo said: “If we want to encourage more people to get on their bikes in Hull, it’s essential that the city’s cycle routes are kept as places where cyclists feel safe and can enjoy their ride.”

“Keeping the city’s cycle tracks clean and tidy is something we are asked about a lot, including in last year’s traffic and transport survey, so it’s great to see how hard these teams are working every day to make sure this happens.”

“The teams obviously take a great deal of pride in what they do, and it was useful to hear about what resources they might need to do their jobs even more effectively.”

Doug Sharp, the council’s Head of Waste Management and Street Cleansing, said: “It was great to have Cllr Ieronimo working alongside our cycle path team, seeing what they do, day in and day out, to keep the city’s routes clean, tidy and, most importantly, safe.”

“We know how important the off-road cycle network is to cyclists, and the old branch lines are critical routes for navigating the city. That’s why we are working hard to ensure they are clean and safe for cyclists.”

For more on cycling in Hull, including an interactive map of cycle routes, visit Travel Hull.

Wakefield Residents Invited To Share Views On Affordable Housing Plans

Residents are asked to have their say on plans to build 50 affordable homes on the former Chantry House site at Kirkgate, before a planning application is submitted.

As part of its drive to significantly increase the number of affordable homes in the district, and especially in town and city centres, Wakefield Council is working in partnership with WDH to bring forward brand new homes on this high profile site.

The Council acquired and demolished Chantry House on Kirkgate in 2020 and confirmed a partnership with WDH to build 50 affordable homes on the site for affordable rent and shared ownership.

Plans for the proposed development will be available to view at the West Yorkshire History Centre, 127 Kirkgate between 10:30am and 5pm on Thursday 19 January 2023. They can also be viewed here

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “The Chantry House site is just the beginning of our plans to deliver more, better and affordable homes in our district. It is so important to us to create and provide places for people to live and be proud to call home.”

“The Kirkgate area is a key gateway into our city, and this is the next vital step in our regeneration plans.”

“This is also the first site of many that we intend to bring forward for affordable housing across the district over the next few years.”

“Good quality housing is the foundation for economic growth and the priority is for Wakefield to have a high-quality housing offer that meets our residents’ needs.”

“I would encourage the local community to engage with the plans for the site and provide some valuable feedback in relation to the proposals, before planning permission is submitted.”

Sue Young, Executive Director of Investment at WDH, said: “Providing high quality, affordable homes in places where people want to live is our priority. This development enables us to do just that. The plans for the development include a mix of family homes alongside apartments, helping us to build a diverse community, meet local housing needs and support our economy.”

The site is also part of the Council’s wider regeneration plans for Kirkgate that have been delivered since 2015 – including the restoration of Kirkgate Rail Station, the new West Yorkshire History Centre and improvements to the local road network.

It also forms part of the Wakefield City Centre Masterplan, which sets out how the city centre will be transformed into a vibrant city for the future and an even better place to live, work, visit and invest.

It is expected that works will start on the former Chantry House site next year and be completed by 2026, subject to planning permission.

£12m Northallerton Link Road Opens

The long-awaited opening of a multi-million pound link road and bridge in Northallerton marks a huge step towards improving travel around the town.

The North Northallerton link road opened on December 16 linking two entry points into the town – from Stokesley and Darlington – and providing a much-needed alternative route to avoid the Low Gates level crossing.

The road supports the construction of Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes housing developments and, when completed, a school, retail space, business sites, sport and recreational areas.

The idea for the link road and bridge first emerged in the Local Plan developed by Hambleton District Council as part of the North Northallerton Development Area. It has been delivered in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, and financed by the housing developers – and with a £6m grant from the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Leader of the District Council, Councillor Mark Robson said: “We are delighted to see this road and bridge finally open to traffic – it has been a long time in the making but we believe it is going deliver big economic and community benefits for Northallerton. It will relieve traffic pressure on the north side of the town and give easier access to businesses on the Darlington Road.”

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, added: “Today’s opening of the link road and bridge represents a huge step forward for Northallerton in terms of improving travel around town and reducing congestion.”

“We have worked very closely with our partners, including Hambleton District Council, the LEP and the developers, to overcome a number of tricky hurdles in order to deliver this key piece of infrastructure. It is fantastic to see the bridge finally open to our residents.”

“The new route is just one part of our efforts to help address traffic problems in and around Northallerton, and we are committed to bringing forward further improvements in the future.”

North Moor House opened on the new development site last year – housing mental health services for children and young people, adults and older adults. It is home to mental health and learning disability services from the Friarage Hospital, Brompton House and Gibraltar House.

Dr Liz Herring, General Manager for the North Yorkshire and York Adult Mental Health Service at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The opening of the link road is an important development for North Moor House, making the centre so much more accessible for patients, carers and staff. It is an amazing facility for residents of Hambleton and Richmondshire and it is great news that the link road and other transport support will now become available.”

Dehenna Davison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Levelling Up) added: “I am pleased to see that the new link road and bridge in Northallerton is now open. As a Government, we are proud to have supported this project with £6m from the Local Growth Fund, awarded to York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. By improving access to local businesses, new homes and the town, the new road and bridge supports the Government’s commitment to Levelling Up, driving forward economic growth and improving the lives of people across the country.”

David Dickson, Chair of the LEP Place and Structure Board, commented: “The York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership welcomes the opening of the new Northallerton northern link road and railway bridge, providing an alternative route for traffic and to support the future growth of the town. Hambleton District Council has worked hard with the developers to deliver one of the most significant projects in our LEP area supported by a £6m investment from the government’s Local Growth deal.”

Jackie Coulthard, Managing Director for Taylor Wimpey North Yorkshire, added: “We are pleased that the link road and bridge have now opened for use by the local community. We would like to thank residents for their patience and we hope that they can now enjoy the benefits this key infrastructure project is intended to bring.”

Sean Taylor, Managing Director for Persimmon Homes Teesside, said: “It’s exciting to see the new bridge open to users. This will bring significant economic and social benefits, not just for local residents but for Northallerton and the wider area.”

“While the covid pandemic and nature of the project undoubtedly brought some significant challenges, working with our partners Taylor Wimpey, North Yorkshire County Council and the LEP, we’re delighted to see the bridge open.”

Photo caption: From left, Hambleton’s local members Cllr Paul Atkin and Cllr Isobel Sanderson; Jackie Coulthard, managing director for Taylor Wimpey North Yorkshire; Sean Taylor, managing director for Persimmon Homes Teesside; Cllr Keane Duncan, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways and transport; Mark Haynes, infrastructure project manager for the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership; Cllr Mark Robson, Hambleton District Council leader; and Cllr Stephen Watson, who sits on the district and county council.

New Headline Sponsor For York Design Awards 15th Anniversary

York Design Awards, which marks its 15th anniversary this year, have announced that Shepherd Group and its flagship business, modular building manufacturer Portakabin, will be the headline sponsors when the 2023 awards launch in February.

The free-to-enter awards celebrate and reward the very best in architecture and building design completed in York. Previous winners include Clifford’s Tower, York Guildhall, Lowfield Green, Jake’s Treehouse, Rowntree Park Skate Park, and a number of private residences.

Shepherd Group and Portakabin, a major employer in the city, have supported the awards for many years, and have now stepped up to be headline sponsors in 2023.

Dan Ibbetson, CEO of Shepherd Group and Portakabin said: “Shepherd Group and Portakabin are long-term supporters of the York Design Awards and we wanted to reaffirm our commitment in their 15th anniversary year. We recognise the importance of excellent architecture and design in an historic city such as York, which must also evolve and develop for the future success of the city.”

Ann Reid, Chair of the York Design Awards committee said: “The Shepherd Group’s support from the earliest days of York Design Awards and their continuing sponsorship means so much to us in keeping our Awards going. The support from our headline sponsors and our other sponsors and supporters means that the Awards remain free to enter, which makes them accessible to individuals and small community groups as well as large developers. Their generosity is both crucial and enormously appreciated.”

York Design Awards were launched in 2007 but could not go ahead in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions, making 2023 the 15th annual awards.

The launch event will take place on 28th February at The Creative Centre at York St John University, which won two York Design Awards in 2022 in the community/education and sustainability categories. Property developers, housebuilders, architects and homeowners will be invited to submit their entries, with winners announced in July.

Further details regarding the launch event will be announced later this month. To stay up to date visit the bespoke awards website here

Government Backing For Hull Low Cost Heating Project

Hull City Council is launching the city’s first district heating network which will provide low-cost, low-carbon energy to city centre buildings.
The news comes after the council was awarded £13 million in funding from the government’s Green Heat Network Fund.

The Hull District Heat Network will use energy from waste to heat a series of pipes transporting heated water. The heated water will then be transferred to connected buildings through heat exchangers. The network will consist of a centralised energy source, as well as a back-up energy centre.

The network will provide buildings in the city centre with a low-carbon source of heat at a lower cost than other low-carbon heating solutions.

The council plans to hold public engagement events in the near future to gather the views of local people and businesses, as well as raise awareness of the project.

Councillor Julia Conner, portfolio holder for environment and climate change lead at Hull City Council said: “I’m pleased that the government has agreed to back this ambitious project that will deliver cleaner, cheaper energy to those living and working in Hull City Centre.”

“It’s a significant step towards the council achieving its carbon neutral ambition.”

Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, portfolio holder for economic development and regeneration said: “As well as helping the council meet its environmental and climate change commitments, we also know that every penny counts right now, so we want to make taxpayers’ money go further. That’s why as energy prices rise it’s essential that the council finds new ways to reduce energy usage in its buildings and the Hull District Heat Network project will help do this.”

“Looking to the future, it could also supply low-cost heating to local residents and businesses – which will help people in this new era of higher energy bills.”

The Green Heat Network Fund is a 3-year £288 million fund that supports the construction of new low carbon heat networks and the retrofitting and expansion of existing heat networks. It aims to develop and grow the heat network market and to address some of the challenges of decarbonising the UK’s heat sector.

Works are expected to commence on the Hull District Heat Network project in 2024.

Those interested to learn more about the project or wish to discuss connecting a building to the network can find out more by contacting

In April 2019, Hull City Council declared a climate emergency and in 2020, they published the Hull 2030 Carbon Neutral Strategy – its ambitious vision for making Hull carbon neutral by 2030.

Hull City Council is a partner of the Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign, encouraging local businesses and residents to drive down their emissions and take positive action on climate change. To find out more about the Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign, access advice and tips about reducing your carbon footprint and sign up to be part of it visit

Eddisons Completes £1.9 Million Project At York School

Property group Eddisons, which is headquartered in Leeds, has project managed the £1.9 million refurbishment of new dining areas, toilet blocks and classrooms at Millthorpe school, a 1,000-student York high school run by South Bank Academy Trust.

Completed this month, the project has upgraded and modernised outdated areas of the school as well as freeing up the circulation of students and staff through the building by reconfiguring areas where bottlenecks were creating logistical problems and causing lengthy lunchtime queues.

A new external covered dining area, the refurbishment and extension of the existing dining room, upgraded toilet blocks and refurbished teaching areas were all included in the scheme which took Eddisons four months to complete once work began on site this summer.

Declan Williams, a building surveyor with Eddisons’ 60-strong specialist education team, which works with school and college academy trusts to secure government funding for improvement projects and sees them through to completion, said: “We have been working with South Bank Academy Trust for four years after being approached to carry out the initial condition survey.”

“Circulation was identified as being a major issue that was disrupting the school day and that was one of our main challenges, to reconfigure the way people travel around the entire school.”

He added: “We have had excellent feedback from the school who have told us that both staff and pupils are enjoying the more orderly atmosphere and increased capacity to serve more people at lunchtimes. Some of the new, modern space we have created is multifunctional so that it can be used either as a dining room or as a teaching area, which has been particularly useful for maximising the space available.”

Millthorpe School, which is in the South Bank area of York, is expected to grow in student numbers in the coming years as nearby new housing developments at the Civil Service and British Sugar are developed. The £1.9m refurbishment project was funded by City of York Council.

Eddisons carried out the initial survey into the condition of the school buildings, as well as providing architectural and design services for the £1.9m project and project managing the construction of the new areas.