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ST Marks School wins at Construction News Awards

Southampton’s new all-through school wins national award for creating “an enduring legacy for the community''


Southampton’s St Mark’s Church of England School, built by Morgan Sindall Construction, has recently received two high-profile construction awards.

These awards were in recognition of the pioneering social value work carried out by the tier-one contractor, in collaboration with Southampton City Council and the delivery team, while creating Southampton’s first all-through school.

TV personality Claudia Winkleman presented the team with the ‘Community Engagement Project of the Year’ at the Construction News Awards, a prestigious national construction awards ceremony.

The project also recently won the ‘Construction Project of the Year’ at the Central South Business Awards 2023. This follows the success Morgan Sindall had last year, winning three categories including ‘Business of the Year’.

St Marks School previously won ‘Best Social Value Project’ at the 2023 Social Value Awards earlier this year and in 2021 received ‘Best Project Delivering Social Value’ at the Pagabo Awards.

St Mark's Church of England All-Through School

This total of four prominent awards recognises the importance Morgan Sindall and Southampton City Council put on social value creation during the project and how they demonstrated highly effective approaches where the whole team worked together to form a community-led initiative to hugely benefit the local area.

The awards acknowledge the outreach programmes Morgan Sindall conducted throughout the build, which saw a £75m social return on investment into the local community, including an education partnership with Redbridge Community School in Southampton which will mentor and assist students through their education and some into careers in construction.

The project team also engaged with 4,168 students through another 362 hours of curriculum-related activities including site tours, career talks, work experience placements, and volunteer days.

St Mark's School, Southampton’s first 4-16 all-through school, was completed in the winter of 2022. The project, which was procured through the Pagabo framework, has delivered a brand new 1,500 place building, including a pre-school nursery, a two-form entry primary school, and a secondary school. The project team included Faithful & Gould, Architecture PLB, Scott White & Hookins, JP Hopkins and Vail Williams.

The new school provides children of the local community with a one stop educational hub to learn and develop, whilst supporting Southampton City Council’s wider agenda to address the growing requirement for school places in the area.

Cliff Kinch, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said:

The feedback we have had for St Mark’s CofE School has been incredible and winning at both the Construction News awards and at the Central South Business Awards recently, alongside the other awards and nominations, is a testament to everyone’s hard work. It is clear it has been a real game-changer for the local community.
Working with the Council and forming the Redbridge construction partnership, has demonstrated our deep commitment off the back of the St Marks project and it has been great to get the initiative started and to watch our business truly get behind the programme, offering their time and skills, and seeing the value it will add to the students involved, now and in the future.”

Commenting on the entry, the Construction News Awards judging panel said:

[The award is] credit for a project thoughtfully considered and coordinated - which acted as a catalyst to deliver targeted local training, skills and employment opportunities, as well as working with local schools, the local community and with established local charity groups. [It shows] in depth understanding of the challenges which face the local community, and appreciation of the barriers to inclusion – and that it is often the little things that matter. The team had outstanding passion and will leave an enduring legacy for the community in future.”

Councillor Alex Winning, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning at Southampton City Council said:

It’s a fantastic achievement that St Mark’s has won the ‘Community Engagement Project of the Year’ award and the school is being recognised on a national level. Not only has the project benefited current pupils and future generations but it has also contributed towards social value commitments and created local jobs, apprenticeships, and support to local schools with work experience placements.”

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Leader of Southampton City Council added:

The St Mark’s expansion has provided over 1000 much needed school places, addressing local educational needs, while benefiting the local economy by creating local jobs and apprenticeships. Community involvement is at the crux of any successful project, so I’m proud of this recent award. Almost 1000 hours were dedicated to supporting communities during this project, which demonstrates how important they are to our city.”

Stephanie Bryant, headteacher at St Mark’s Primary School, said:

Thanks to a collaborative approach, the project was successfully delivered three months early, despite being hit with numerous challenges, including the global pandemic, so we were incredibly pleased with the outcome. We love our state-of-the-art school and it’s great that everyone’s work is recognised through this award win and being shortlisted for others in 2023.”

Morgan Sindall is also shortlisted for ‘Community Impact Initiative of the year’ at October’s BCI Awards for its five-year education partnership with Redbridge Community School in Southampton. This supports pupils with their learning, personal and academic development and provides mentorship for students when moving into further education and employment within the industry. As well as creating training opportunities within its own business, Morgan Sindall leverages its supply chain and industry contacts to help local people get on the career ladder.