Portakabin emergency response team provides new school for 650 children

Portakabin, the UK’s leading modular building specialist, has provided 650 children with a 2,100sqm interim school after Newman Catholic School in Carlisle was devastated by floods.

The flood waters were 7ft deep in parts of the school, causing irreparable damage. Portakabin also provided interim classrooms for Newman School back in 2005 when the River Eden burst its banks and its buildings were first severely damaged by flooding.

Following the more recent floods, there was an immediate need for emergency teaching accommodation to allow the school to re-open in time for the start of the new spring term. Twelve single modular buildings were provided by Portakabin during the Christmas break. These classrooms were located on the site of a former primary school and supplied with furniture, data communications and alarm systems as a first response to get the school up and running again.

The buildings were then replaced with 24 general classrooms and highly fitted out specialist rooms including for ICT, design and technology, food technology and science, delivered in just 12 weeks. The interim school, which is designed and built to permanent standards, will be in use until a long-term solution is developed.

Portakabin provided Cumbria County Council with a full service for Newman School following the flood disaster – ground works for the buildings, all fitting out, air conditioning, fire and security alarm systems, access ramps and walkways, emergency lighting, furniture, service connections and data communications. The scheme also included the provision of sports changing rooms, shower and toilet facilities, and a sixth form common room.

The project had many challenges. The new school had to be sited on a water-logged playing field which required gas, electric and water services bringing in. The site was located in a constrained residential area so an access road had to be constructed for delivery of the buildings – and the site team had to work through very poor weather conditions.

Commenting on the project, John McAuley, Head Teacher at Newman Catholic School said, “We are really pleased with the performance of the Portakabin team and the first class facilities they have delivered. They were incredibly fast to respond to the situation and planning meetings were held within days of the disaster. Our priority was to ensure that our students could be taught in accommodation that was at least equivalent to what they had before. The reality is that the facilities provided by Portakabin are in many ways superior to our original classrooms.”

“The Portakabin design team was able to accommodate our specific requirements, such as larger science laboratories, and worked really hard to deliver exactly what we needed in a tremendously short timescale. Staff and students are all delighted.”

“The classrooms are bright, warm, airy and welcoming. Despite the terrible floods, our school now has considerably improved facilities. Portakabin has been brilliant and we would absolutely recommend the approach to other schools needing emergency accommodation or classrooms for shorter-term use. We have had a fantastic experience with such a responsive team of building professionals who have been there for us every step of the way.”

The work at Newman School follows the success of a number of other education projects for Cumbria County Council that Portakabin also delivered on time and on budget, including teaching accommodation for Stainburn School and Science College in Workington, Mayfield School, Belle Vue Primary School, and Inglewood Primary School.

In the event of any emergency situation, such as fire, power failure, flooding or the discovery of asbestos, Portakabin can assist with the provision of:

  • Single modular buildings that can be rapidly delivered to an organisation’s site, often within 24 hours, from its national hire fleet. This allows core operations to be working again very quickly.
  • A bespoke, longer-term accommodation solution developed to an organisation’s exact specifications if the original building has been so severely damaged that it will be out of use for a number of months.
  • An agreed set of fully furnished buildings – prepared and stored for delivery to site in a matter of hours in the event of a crisis situation, as part of a contingency plan.

For further information about interim modular buildings for emergency applications and contingency planning for disaster recovery, visit www.portakabin.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.


Portakabin delivers complete interim primary school in just 14 weeks

Portakabin, the UK’s leading supplier of interim modular buildings, has successfully constructed and handed over a complete new 300-pupil interim primary school in Devon in less than four months.

Working in partnership with architects and project managers, Atkins, Portakabin provided more than 1,200sqm of primary teaching accommodation for the relocation of Dartington Primary School. The scheme will be in use for the next two years and was configured as 13 school buildings and three toilet blocks with disabled access.

The project was delivered on time in a challenging timescale despite exceptionally high levels of rainfall during the programme, and the green field site immediately adjacent to the original school was highly constrained which made the building installation phase more complex.

The modular buildings have been configured to create a village feel and a welcoming environment for children with imaginative age and function-related play zones. Facilities include a kitchen fitted out with the school’s own equipment, a music room, library, pre-school nursery, 11 classrooms, and an administrative building for the staff room, head teacher’s office, general offices, sick bay, toilets and school reception.

Jill Mahon, Head Teacher at Dartington Primary School, said, “We are very happy with the buildings. The classrooms respond to the needs of the children and promote the flow of learning. The teaching areas have been configured in clusters to provide learning that is appropriate for each key stage and so that children can interact and learn from and with each other.”

“The classrooms are light, airy and calming with a friendly, positive feel. Everything on the new site works really well for our school and our style of learning. Other teaching professionals who have visited have also been very impressed.”

“Externally the layout of the buildings has been carefully designed so our children can learn outside the classrooms as well as inside. The whole interim school was constructed very easily and the area will be turned back into a field when we move to our permanent school. Parents really are amazed by the quality of the facilities and cannot believe these are interim buildings.”

Kevin Presland, Principal Architect and Project Manager at Atkins said, “Portakabin offered us the solution which would provide the least possible disruption to the school and I am pleased to report this has been successfully achieved and in a really ambitious timescale.”

“The buildings are flexible in their design and address the school’s specific requirements. We worked really well in partnership with the Portakabin team to find the optimum building solution and valued their fast and responsive approach to help us meet the urgent need for these facilities.”

The buildings arrived on site around 80 per cent fitted out, with partitions, plumbing and electrics pre-installed to reduce lead times. All internal fitting out was carried out by Portakabin and included provision of magnetic white boards for visual learning displays, access ramps, entrance canopies, and security and data communications.

The provision of high quality interim teaching accommodation allows schools and LEAs to react quickly to local needs and to provide alternative facilities for pupils when it is necessary for building projects to continue during term time.  By providing classrooms of the very highest standards and with a design life of at least 60 years, buildings from Portakabin help to ensure that there is no compromise on the quality of the learning environment.

As at Dartington Primary School, the facilities can be configured and fitted out to the exact requirements of each individual school – as learning clusters, standalone teaching blocks and generously-sized, light, modern classrooms. The buildings can be linked to existing facilities; the floor area can be increased or reduced in line with local demographic needs, and the accommodation can remain in use for as long as needed.

For further information about interim education buildings for primary and secondary schools, visit www.portanews.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.


The Portakabin Group achieves UK construction first with new contract


The Portakabin Group has been awarded the £14 million design and build contract for the UK’s first university technical college (UTC) to be built off site.

 Opening in September 2016, the Global Academy will provide academic and vocational training for 14-19 year olds who want to work in the broadcast and digital media industries.

Designed by the Portakabin Group and architects Surface to Air, the building has a forward-thinking, innovative design to reflect the creative ethos of the new Global Academy.

Advanced off-site technology using a Yorkon building solution from the Portakabin Group will seamlessly integrate both modular and site-based construction.  A significant proportion of the work will be completed off site at the Portakabin Group factory in York in order to meet the challenging programme for completion in time for the start of the 2016-17 academic year.

The technically-complex building is also designed to deliver a demanding acoustic specification for the broadcast studios, with triple glazing and specially-engineered air conditioning.

Commenting on the project, Simon Ambler, Director of the Portakabin Group said, “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract for the UK’s first UTC to be built off site. This is part of a really exciting regeneration scheme, which will create a landmark education facility to give young people fantastic, practical training for the broadcast and digital media industries.”

“This is a hugely significant project for the construction sector.  It demonstrates the architectural flexibility of a highly engineered Yorkon off-site solution from the Portakabin Group and how an outstanding building design can successfully integrate different construction methods. It also illustrates really well how we can deliver an inspiring, animated and intelligent building in a very short timescale and on a highly complex site.”


The Global Academy will house a sports hall, theatres and a cinema, which will be linked to a four-storey modular building by a dynamic, full-height central atrium space. There will be extensive facilities for TV and radio broadcasting, including radio studios, TV studios, flexible teaching spaces, informal learning zones to facilitate interaction, a café and dining area.

The scheme is being constructed by the Portakabin Group on the heritage brownfield site of the Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The site will also require the Portakabin Group to carry out complex groundworks, extensive excavations for district heating, and the construction of a new sub-station.

University technical colleges are technical secondary schools for 14 to 19 year olds, teaching the inventors, engineers, scientists and technicians of tomorrow.  They offer a broad curriculum that combines an academic education with technical and practical learning.  UTCs use the latest equipment and technology to provide an environment where students can thrive and develop the skills employers need. The governing body of each UTC is controlled by a business sponsor and a university.

For further information about Yorkon off-site building solutions from the Portakabin Group for primary, secondary and further education, call 0845 2000 123, email info@yorkon.co.uk or visit www.yorkon.info.


Preferred bidder for £28 million of school contracts in Surrey and Kent

The Portakabin Group has been announced as preferred bidder for seven infant and primary school projects in Surrey and Kent. The contracts for the Department for Education will be worth in the region of £28 million. The projects will be completed by winter 2017 and constructed using a Yorkon off-site solution.

The schemes have been identified by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) for delivery under the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). The PSBP was established to address the needs of those schools in the worst condition across the country.

A spokesperson from the EFA confirmed, “There was very strong competition in the off-site sector for this batch of projects and the modular market has clearly risen to the challenge with more advanced technical solutions. We looked closely at design, cost, experience and management.”

Simon Ambler, Director of the Portakabin Group, “This is another milestone for the Portakabin Group and for the off-site sector. We are delighted to be able to demonstrate our ability to deliver high quality, affordable school buildings on time, on budget and to faster programmes to the benefit of children’s education. The opportunity for off-site construction to help transform the learning environment for thousands of pupils and their teachers under the Priority School Building Programme is immense.”

“Off-site construction gives schools the benefits of considerable savings on programme because the sub and super structures are delivered simultaneously; it is safer because work off site is maximised, and the approach reduces disruption – which are all clear advantages when redeveloping fully operational school sites.”

Three of the seven projects identified in the Surrey and Kent batch are now in the design stages.

The first to start on site will be Pyrford Church of England Primary School in Woking. A £5 million 2FE primary school with two ‘bulge’ classrooms will be constructed to accommodate 480 children from the start of the 2016/17 academic year. It will replace the existing single-storey school which will then be demolished.

Pyrford is a complex site which will include the retention of an existing children’s centre and nursery. The design of the new two-storey building will significantly increase the external space and access for outdoor play and learning, and high levels of natural light will provide a welcoming and bright internal environment for teaching.

For further information about Yorkon off-site building solutions from the Portakabin Group for primary and secondary education, call 0845 2000 123, email info@yorkon.co.uk or visit www.yorkon.info.


Smart-Space provides Sigma 3 with supplementary storage solution

Temporary building specialist Smart-Space has provided bespoke kitchen manufacturer Sigma 3 with a permanent steel structure to house its raw materials at its factory in Llantrisant, Wales.

As one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of kitchens in the UK, Sigma 3 has a 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility complete with state-of-the-art equipment near Cardiff.

With its kitchen board stock currently stored in trailers in the yard, Sigma 3 sought to improve efficiencies by bringing the stock into one location and closer to the main building so that it could be fed directly into the cutting machines.

Smart-Space provided Sigma 3 Kitchens with a 16m by 35m Eave Mono pitch purpose-built permanent steel building. It is fitted to the adjoining workshop and has a rigid steel roof, is clad with horizontally ribbed wall panels and equipped with two roller doors for ease of loading and unloading. Smart-Space took care of the entire project from start to finish including obtaining the necessary planning permissions.

Unlike previous portable PVC alternatives, the Eave Mono pitch provides a more permanent solution that offers ideal conditions for timber storage as it is fully insulated with a 35 year rust and corrosion warranty. Its insulative properties are particularly important for keeping the wood based products dry and protected from the elements.

The new warehouse was built in stages, starting with the floor, then the walls and finally the roof. This caused minimum disruption to the kitchen manufacturer allowing the site to remain fully operational throughout the entire installation.

Sigma 3 chose Smart-Space because of its ability to provide a quick turnaround with custom-built products to meet its requirements.

“The service and communication from Smart-Space was exceptional,” said Martin Hatcher, operations manager at Sigma 3. “The fitters got on with the job, delivering a quality structure quickly and efficiently, which has provided us with a single facility for ideal timber storage.”

For enquiries please call 0808 278 1499 or visit www.smart-space.co.uk



The best buildings ‘Barr none’


AG Barr, the soft drinks business responsible for well-known brands such as the iconic IRN-BRU, Rubicon exotic juice drinks, Strathmore spring water, Tizer and the distribution of Rockstar energy drinks in the UK, has chosen two buildings from Portakabin Hire to provide highly flexible office space inside its new manufacturing facility in Milton Keynes.

AG Barr has been making, moving, marketing and selling some of the UK’s best-loved soft drinks brands for over 140 years. The company employs approximately 1,000 people and operates from nine sites across the UK with an annual turnover of £260 million in 2014. Barr’s £41 million state-of-the-art production, warehousing and distribution centre at Milton Keynes operates a high-tech canning and carton production facility with the capacity to produce 400 million cans and 40 million cartons a year.

The company has now hired its second Portakabin Solus building to provide flexible office and meeting space on the shop floor for the next three years.

Both buildings were delivered in a month or less from contract award, and each has been ‘wrapped’ in the company’s statement drinks branding to fit in with the manufacturing facility’s high-tech appearance. The first building features the distinctive ‘Rockstar’ branding and the second is a ‘Rubicon’ drinks vinyl wrap. The resulting facilities are striking and lively additions to the production centre.

Commenting on the company’s requirement, Tim Stacey, Factory Manager at AG Barr Milton Keynes, said, “We had a need for office and meeting space on the shop floor but because the manufacturing facility is still very new and growing, it is impossible to predict what our office requirements will be in three or four years’ time. We wanted an office solution that we could extend or move around if we need to and which can be adapted to meet the company’s changing needs. A Portakabin Hire building gives us far more flexibility.”

“The Portakabin Hire team was very responsive and it is great to have the option to personalise the buildings with our branding. The wraps were very straightforward and complement our modern production facilities really well. We are very happy with these two buildings and with how Portakabin has helped us meet our operational needs.”


Both buildings were installed inside the distribution centre in a challenging operation and without the use of any vehicles.

Portakabin Solus buildings are available to hire or buy and provide bright, self-contained executive office space for up to six people. Each building is delivered complete with data connection points, heating and lighting, and large windows to maximise natural light. It is available in a range of sizes up to 36m2 and can be linked to create larger complexes or two-storey facilities.

Vinyl wraps are low maintenance finishes which are now available for Portakabin modular and portable buildings.   They are simple to install and remove, and can totally transform the appearance of a building. Strong corporate branding, company logos and eye-catching graphics designed for maximum impact can turn a facility for short-term use into a valuable market asset or statement.   Murals and more subtle colour schemes can be used to blend an interim scheme into its surrounding environment and can help secure planning approval in environmentally-sensitive locations.

Other options to help integrate and equip facilities for short-term use include:

  • Canopies and shelters to create sheltered waiting, social and seating zones
  • Covered walkways which can be curved, high barrel, low barrel or flat
  • Free-standing outdoor structures with glass, polycarbonate or coloured architectural fabric roofs for waiting, meeting or socialising
  • Cycle storage
  • Smoking shelters
  • Street furniture such as litter bins, benches, picnic tables, bollards and barriers.

Applications for interim modular buildings for manufacturing companies are diverse and include office accommodation, meeting rooms, security buildings, canteens, training suites, and shower and changing rooms. The facilities can be supplied and installed just days from receipt of order complete with fire and alarm systems, access ramps and furnishings, and can remain in use for as long as required. Buildings provided on hire can also be funded from revenue streams, reducing capital costs and outlay. 

For further information about interim buildings, visit www.portanews.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.


The Portakabin Group hands over research facility to The University of Warwick


The Portakabin Group has handed over a highly sustainable, state-of-the-art research facility, constructed using a Yorkon off-site solution, for the new International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing at WMG at the University of Warwick – the first institute of its kind in the world.

 The off-site approach radically reduced the programme time to just 14 weeks on site, which is several months less than originally envisaged.

 The new institute develops innovative manufacturing technologies to enable industry to make large-scale nanocomposite parts for products in sectors such as telecommunications, electronics, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, automotive, security and medicine. A team of 50 nanocomposite researchers works from the building on research projects with other academic groups and partners from industry, both in the UK and internationally.

Designed by Cullinan Studio, the two-storey £2.3m scheme was manufactured off site at the Portakabin Group’s production centre in York and craned into position as 28 steel-framed Yorkon modules with fume cupboards and extraction system pre-installed for the laboratory areas. The exterior walls of the modules have been arranged to create a dust-free, clean and easy-to-maintain environment for nanocomposite testing.

The building houses advanced R&D facilities with highly complex M&E services and extensive use of renewable technologies to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. It has three laboratories with factory-installed Yorkon high-performance concrete floors and full height uPVC hygienic wall linings. There is a 9m high central processing hall with an in-situ poured concrete floor to support specialist equipment; offices and an open plan research space. A swipe-card access control system has been installed to each room for security purposes.

Steve Walker, Senior Project Manager at the University of Warwick, said, “Considering the extremely challenging timescale we were working to for this project, the whole process was made very straightforward for us. We needed the facility to be up and running as fast as possible and this was achieved.”


“The laboratories are spacious and the performance of the building overall has exceeded our expectations. It is as good as any site-based building project. Off-site construction suits nanocomposite manufacturing very well and we would definitely recommend the Yorkon approach.”

Wen Quek, Project Architect at Cullinan Studio, said, “The use of a Yorkon off-site solution was an ideal choice for this project because it is fast, efficient and cost effective. We were also impressed with the sustainability advantages of the approach, particularly the fact that it produces up to 90 per cent less waste to landfill than on-site building methods and uses less embodied energy.”

This highly sustainable facility benefits from a number of renewable technologies that generate 18.9 per cent of its annual energy requirement. These include:

  • 100m2 of photovoltaic roof panels which will produce around 11,400kWh per year and save in excess of 6,000kg of carbon emissions
  • Very efficient low temperature hot water (LTHW) inverter-driven heat pumps to heat the process hall
  • Highly efficient variable refrigerant flow (VRF) inverter-driven heat pumps to heat and cool the laboratories, offices and meeting rooms.

Other energy efficiency features include:

  • Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) for all air supply systems to recover 80 per cent of the heat from extracted air and reduce heating requirements
  • Daylight dimming of lighting with occupancy sensors to reduce the reliance on artificial lighting and maximise energy efficiency
  • Gas and electricity meters linked to the building management system with ‘out of range’ reporting if consumption exceeds pre-determined limits
  • Power factor control equipment to ensure that electrical consumption is as efficient as possible
  • Automatic window ventilators in the process hall for cooling during the summer months to help maintain a controlled and comfortable internal environment.

Externally, the scheme has secondary perforated cladding for a high-tech appearance, and a feature mono-pitch roof. Portakabin provided a full service for this scheme including design and construction, module manufacture, fitting out, landscaping and car parking. 

The Portakabin Group’s Yorkon off-site building solutions offer unrivalled aesthetic flexibility and give building designers the benefit of thousands of module configurations and permutations to meet almost any design brief, site and building footprint. The approach is also highly sustainable because it reduces the number of vehicle movements to site by around 90 per cent, and there are fewer internal columns to facilitate space planning and any future reconfiguration required to meet the organisation’s changing needs.

For further information about Yorkon off-site building solutions, call 0845 2000 123, email contact@yorkon.co.uk or visit www.yorkon.info.


Record year for McAvoy Group

Permanent modular construction specialists, The McAvoy Group are poised for a record-breaking year with around £75m worth of projects in the pipeline for 2015.

McAvoy which uses off-site methods of construction to deliver fast track, eco-friendly projects, confirmed it had been awarded preferred bidder status on 12 new contracts in the education sector in Britain and Ireland.

McAvoy was named as a principal contractor earlier this year under the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework and funded by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to build nine new schools.

These new permanent school buildings, due for completion from the second half of 2015 through to the first half of 2016, are located across Greater London and the South of England.

The contracts comprise a range of Primary and Post Primary facilities with individual project values ranging from £2m to £17m.

Lynch Hill Enterprise Academy in Slough, is to get a new 9,000m2 school enabling it to expand its current education provision into Key Stage 3 and 4.

Goresbrook School is an all through school for pupils aged 3-18 in Dagenham, London to be developed on the site of an existing leisure centre. The scheme comprises the design and build of both a new primary and a new secondary school, the retention and refurbishment of the existing sports hall along with demolition of the remainder of the existing leisure facility structure.

Other school projects include Meridian Angel Primary School in Edmonton, London a purpose-built educational facility which will have Primary, Secondary and Special Education provision and, Salisbury Sixth Form College where growing pupil demand has fuelled an immediate need for a bigger, modern facility.

Another contract awarded as part of the EFA bundle is a project at The Rise School which is co-located with Feltham Community College in Hounslow, London. This new co-educational special school caters for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and is run by the Autism Schools’ Trust.

EFA is also funding Walthamstow Academy, London, which is to be a new two-form entry co-educational post primary school.

A number of the contracts planned for delivery in 2015 are the result of successes under other Frameworks including:

The Crypt School project, awarded through Gloucester County Council’s select list and the construction of two permanent modular buildings at the current site of The Greville Primary School, awarded through the Hampshire and Surrey framework.

Kildare Educate Together National School opened in 2012 in temporary accommodation and has since been approved for funding for a new 16 classroom school building. The contract was awarded to a subsidiary company by the Department for Education and Skills through the Rapid Build Framework.  http://www.mcavoygroup.com/



Portakabin Hire receives largest ever order

Portakabin Hire, the UK’s leading supplier of interim building solutions, has been awarded a £13.5 million contract – the largest in the division’s 52-year history – to expand ward and theatre accommodation for orthopaedic services at Royal Stoke University Hospital.

A complex 4,000sqm, two-storey building will be constructed in less than four months to increase capacity at the hospital, to the benefit of patient care.

Due for completion in spring 2015, the purpose-designed facilities will include 56 new in-patient beds, two theatres, recovery room, ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ utilities, single rooms with en-suite bathrooms, staff changing rooms, reception, kitchenette, offices, and an integral plant room.

Commenting on the project, John Simpson, Director of Corporate Services at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, said, “We appointed Portakabin for their capabilities to deliver this challenging scheme on time and on cost. It is being built to a very short construction programme so we can have the new facility up and running as early as possible, meeting the increasing demand for services and enhancing patients’ experience.”

“We have been very happy with the performance of the Portakabin team so far. The company’s manufacturing centre in York is an impressive operation which maximises off-site working. This is important to help us minimise disruption to patient care on a fully operational and highly constrained hospital site. Seeing the building in manufacture also gave us the reassurance of the resources, the quality of the Portakabin approach and their commitment to delivery on programme and on budget.”

The building will be craned into position as 124 steel-framed modules which will be delivered to site complete with wall finishes, internal partitioning, M&E services and flooring already in place, further reducing work and disruption on this busy hospital site. The cranage phase will be a complex operation as the site is located adjacent to other wards and close to the A34 which will restrict vehicle movements.

Portakabin Hire provides accommodation for wards, recovery suites, dialysis units, diagnostics, out-patient departments and treatment centres. All the hospital facilities are constructed to the latest healthcare standards, including HTM (Health Technical Memoranda), HBN (Health Building Notes), SHTM (Scottish Health Technical Memoranda) and HAI-SCRIBE (Healthcare Associated Infection System for Controlling Risk in the Built Environment).

The hiring of modular accommodation is a fast, flexible and cost-effective way for healthcare providers to expand ward and consulting facilities, particularly on constrained hospital sites.

Complete, fully-fitted buildings can be delivered in a fraction of the time of a site-based construction solution. Critically, buildings can be installed with minimal disruption to patient care and the solution is a much safer approach as fitting out can also be carried out off site.

For further information about modular healthcare buildings for interim and permanent applications, visit www.portanews.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.


Portakabin Hire sees record demand for interim teaching accommodation

Portakabin Hire, the UK’s leading interim modular building specialist, has delivered a record number of school buildings and classrooms to accommodate around 22,000 school children in the last academic year.

Demand was so high that in the two months prior to the start of the new autumn term, Portakabin Hire installed over 1,000 modular units at schools from Penzance to Penrith, accommodating nearly 9,000 children. This is an increase in pupil accommodation of more than 40 per cent compared to the same period last year.

According to the Local Government Association, despite the creation of an additional 90,000 primary school places, an extra 130,000 places will still be needed by 2017/18, and a further 80,716 new secondary places will be required to meet the growing demand by 2019/20.

Commenting on the issue, Robert Snook, Director and General Manager of Portakabin Hire, said, “The rising birth rates and demographic changes are still putting acute pressure on primary school places nationwide but particularly in London and the South East. The provision of modular teaching accommodation for short-term use is a highly effective solution that more LEAs and schools are turning to. This allows them to react very quickly to place planning issues, which can be very difficult to predict. And we can help ensure there is no compromise on the quality of the classrooms by providing education environments of the very highest standards.”

In the London Borough of Lewisham, Portakabin Hire provided a complete, self-contained primary school in just eight weeks from receipt of order to handover. The decant accommodation was required to allow Lewisham Council to refurbish and extend Adamsrill Primary School to meet the demand for new places.

Margaret Brightman, Strategic Places Manager at Lewisham Council, said, “We needed the decant school very quickly to be able to provide additional school places in time for the start of the new academic year. Portakabin already had a stock of primary school buildings ready configured and for us to use. Hiring the buildings gave us the flexibility to meet the school’s rapidly changing requirements.”

“The classrooms are lovely and teaching staff are very happy with them. We were surprised how spacious they are compared to older school buildings in London. The Portakabin team worked exceptionally hard to bring the project within our targeted budget and to our deadline. They are a very responsive company to work with and I would have no hesitation recommending the approach and the facilities to other schools and LEAs.”

The 1,300m2 building will be in use for the next year and accommodates 270 key stage one pupils and 25 children in the nursery. Facilities include nine classrooms, a nursery, main hall, school offices, outdoor play area, reception and kitchen.

Portakabin teaching accommodation for hire can be configured and fitted out to the exact requirements of each individual school and site – as learning clusters, standalone teaching blocks and generously-sized, light, modern classrooms. The approach is completely flexible – classrooms can be linked to the existing school, the floor area can be increased or reduced in line with local needs and the demand for places, and the buildings can remain in use for as long as needed.

By completing most of the building work before getting to site, Portakabin is able to radically reduce programme times, improve the safety of school sites and ensure much less disruption to teaching. Interim facilities can also be timed for installation during school holidays or over weekends.

Portakabin Hire offers a complete package of services to ensure every project is completely hassle free. This includes project management, planning approvals, ground works, fitting out, furnishing and installation of services, climate control, access ramps, security and alarm systems.

For further information about interim education buildings to address place planning issues in primary and secondary schools, visit www.portanews.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.