Kent Academies

Carillion, has been selected as the preferred bidder for Kent County Council’s New Line Learning Academy and Kent Batched Academies programme, worth a total of 118 million. This exciting project delivered through Partnerships for Schools’ National Academies Framework involves the design and construction delivery of 5 large secondary education facilities throughout the county of Kent.

These include:

  • New Line Learning and Cornwallis Academies in Maidstone - 60.7m - new build
  • Axton Chase Academy in Dartford - 26.4m - new build
  • Spires Academy in Canterbury - 15.2m - new build
  • Marsh Academy in New Romney - 16.6m - part new build / part refurbishment.

Construction work will begin after financial close has been achieved in November 2008, with all five academies scheduled for completion by March 2011.

Carillion secured a Preferred Bidder position following a design competition to develop proposals for the New Line Learning Academy sample scheme. Both New Line Learning Academy and Cornwallis Academy will be built around the ‘Learning Plaza’ concept, in place of traditional cellular classrooms.

This concept, which is already attracting a great deal of interest in education circles, uses a large open-plan, space a storey-and-a-half high, with a mezzanine floor to accommodate up to 120 pupils. The concept delivers increased value for money in terms of building costs and therefore enables greater investment to be made in upgrading furniture, acoustics and lighting, which further enhances the effectiveness of the learning space provided.

Kent Academy Learning Plaza

New Line Learning has confidence in the effectiveness of their Learning Plaza concept having trialled the concept over a number of years in a ‘mock-up’ of their initial design. It is a requirement of the contract that Carillion facilitate familiarisation of the design to be built through the early delivery of a finished plaza within the existing buildings to be demolished whilst construction of the academy is ongoing.

The plaza concept has been shown to be successful in creating a learning environment ‘where students wish to be and selling education to disaffected students. The Carillion design supports this through:

  • the creation of office-type environments (no ‘school’ furniture);
  • interiors based on retail and hotel designs;
  • carefully integrated ICT (largely wireless solution);
  • pre-programmed ‘mood’ lighting (no fluorescent lighting);
  • projection of images onto ‘live walls’; and
  • considered acoustic treatment and integrated FFE solution to facilitate the use of large open spaces as teaching environments.

This project is a great example of the truly integrated solution that Carillion can deliver. In addition to construction delivery by Carillion Building, all consultant engineering services are also provided by a Carillion Group company named TPS; Carillion IT will design and install the IT infrastructure and Carillion Training Services, as a leading provider of vocational training services for the support services and construction industries, are also exploring with Kent County Council ways in which training opportunities can be created through the delivery of these new academies.

Carillion Training Services have direct access to the biggest employer-based apprenticeship training programme in the UK construction industry. The company provides young people with the skills, knowledge & qualifications necessary to access employment & contribute to the local economy.



Carillion Plc.

  • construction delivery
  • IT Infrastructure
  • Training Services

TPS (Carillion)

  • Engineering


  • Architecture


  • Educational Advisors

Client Team


Kent County Council

  • Client

Glensler (Design)

  • Client Advisor

Gleeds (Financial)

  • Client Advisor

Please see below for latest press releases:

  • “Carillion selected as preferred bidder on 118 million Kent Academies programme” – to view click here.

Please see below for latest newsletters:

  • “Kent Academies May 2009 Newsletter” – to view click here
  • “Kent Academies June and July 2009 Newsletter” – to view click here
  • “Kent Academies September and October 2009 Newsletter” – to view click here
  • “Kent Academies November and December 2009 Newsletter” – to view click here

Please see below for latest progress on the project:

  • Kent Academies project progress to January 2011 – to view click here