Polden Bower School


  • Client

    Somerset County Council

  • Contractor

  • Value


  • Completion Date

    May 2021

Project Manager


Civil Engineer
Services Design Solution

The Challenge

A challenging site that had to battle flooding after a string of winter storms, the team involved have overcome numerous obstacles to deliver the school successfully to Somerset County Council.

The team had to undertake a major value engineering process, which led to a substantial redesign to bring the project in to budget, as well as building on a site with significant drainage issues.

The team designed a bund to provide acoustic protection for the school from the neighbouring motorway (M5), all while maintaining strong and collaborative working relationships between all parties.

However, Willmott Dixon are experts in navigating complex and challenging builds, finding solutions and making sure the works carried out meet expected requirements, so we were able to successfully deliver the project to a high standard.

The Solution

Construction of a new 160 Place All-Through Special Educational Needs School (SEN) with administration facilities, hydrotherapy pool, sensory areas, carparking and other required facilitating and external works on greenfield land. Also include the construction of a spine road to facilitate access to the new school.

The Results

Willmott Dixon’s team of education specialists have constructed a state of the art, new two-storey SEN School in Bridgwater creating 160 school places, bringing pupils from two existing sites under one roof.

The new all-age school includes accessible classrooms, dining hall, sports hall, sensory and therapy rooms and a hydrotherapy pool. Outside a sensory garden, multi-use games area and adventure playground will provide lots of spaces to support the pupils’ physical and sensory needs.



95.7% were local

SME Spend


Added Value


Client Satisfaction

Client Testimonials

“ These are the next steps in ensuring we have the right provision in the right places for Somerset’s children.  We always do all we can to support children with SEND to attend mainstream school where this is appropriate and also make sure that those with the highest level of need have the right provision. These projects will ensure that children with all levels of need can be educated close to home in their own communities.”

Contractor Performance | Commitments


99% prompt and fair payments


  • 20 work experience placements
  • 12 local jobs created
  • 19 construction careers information, advice and guidance events
  • 4396 hours spent dedicated to construction support, mentoring and training for both under 24s and over 24s
  • Apprentices spending 585 training weeks on site
  • 30 construction qualifications gained
  • 21 hours in school doing H&S assemblies and site visits
  • 658 hours spent on other initiatives across the community (legacy projects, support with qualifications, community engagement)


Zero Harm


97% waste diverted from landfill


Handover & Aftercare Contractor Promise

SCF Framework Manager

Kingsley Clarke

Email: kingsley.clarke@devon.gov.uk

Phone: 07805760622

Contractor Framework Manager

Guy Dawes

Email: guy.dawes@willmottdixon.co.uk

Phone: 07989 179444