Essex pupil referral unit wins Project of the Year in Constructing Excellence Awards


The outstanding work from the team involved in building the new Fairview Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Basildon has been recognised by winning ‘Building Project of the Year’ at the Constructing Excellence Awards for Essex.

Essex County Council appointed Barnes Construction as the main contractor for the new PRU and work started in July 2022 on the £6.9 million project which was completed in November 2023.

The ‘Constructing Excellence Project of the Year’ category celebrates inspirational projects that deliver outstanding outcomes. It looks for projects that exemplify collaboration and better ways of working, and so help to provide a template for others to learn from. The award was presented at the Constructing Excellence Essex Club lunch held at Braxted Park on the 24th April, which was attended by businesses and organisations operating in the local construction sector.  

Fairview PRU was constructed on an existing education site in Basildon, replacing an old, small, and outdated building which was demolished. The new two-storey facility is now occupied by the Children’s Support Service and provides state of the art spaces enabling high quality education for Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils, who can no longer be taught in a mainstream educational setting.

Working for Essex County Council and its appointed agents Pick Everard, the team that delivered the project comprises Barnes Construction, LSI Architects, Superstructures (structural engineering and design), Hoare Lea (consulting engineers), and Ceetech (mechanical and electrical design and installation).  

Mark Bailey, Divisional Director for Barnes Construction is delighted that the team have been recognised and said:

“Winning this award is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in the project. Working collaboratively as a team, we were able to find solutions to the constraints we had around things such as restricted access, the existing structure and piled foundations, as well as the requirement to comply with the Gatwick 2050 weather file – a first for us.

“It is testament to the project team that all constraints were successfully considered, coordinated and overcome, and the resultant effort clearly shows in in the end product; a modern, effective and comfortable facility that enables high quality teaching for disadvantaged students.”

The Fairview PRU project will now join all the regional winners from England and Wales at the grand final of the Constructing Excellence Awards taking place on Friday 15th November.

Photo shows Fairview PRU Credited Clare Banks Photography

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