Wates completes multi-million-pound Edgar Wood Academy

Edgar Wood Academy
Home News Wates completes multi-million-pound Edgar Wood Academy

The Rochdale secondary school is the first to complete of six secondary schools within the North West via the Department for Education’s Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) Framework

Edgar Wood Academy – Completion

Wates has finished building the £72,300 sq ft Edgar Wood Academy in Greater Manchester, marking the culmination of a two-year project on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE).

The multi-million-pound Edgar Wood Academy is located on Rochdale Road, Middleton. Designed by architect Sheppard Robson, the school has the capacity to hold 900 pupils aged between 11 and 16 years old.

It features 23 general classrooms and 34 specialist classrooms across three floors, as well as a sports hall, sports pitches, and soft and hard play areas. It is being operated by the Altus Education Partnership, a charitable institution and registered company.

The school’s first cohort of 120 Year 7 students started last September. They were based at purpose-built temporary accommodation at Hopwood Hall College, around three miles away from the Edgar Wood Academy site. Those and future students will be based at the completed school from this month (September).

Wates secured the work through the DfE’s £3bn Modern Methods of Construction Framework, to which it was appointed in January 2020. The framework is part of a wider government move towards adopting innovative offsite construction methods to deliver much-needed new schools across the country.


Edgar Wood’s completion provides a stellar example of how offsite construction can revolutionise the delivery of education builds. The lessons learnt on this build will support both Wates’ other DfE projects procured via the Modern Methods of Construction framework and help champion the use of MMC on other schemes across the country.

Delivering this project efficiently was imperative to allow students to benefit from their improved facilities as quickly as possible. We hope the students and staff enjoy their new school and we look forward to our next completion as part of this framework.”
Dave Saville

Dave Saville

Managing Director, Wates Construction

We are excited and proud of the new facilities that have been provided to meet the educational needs of families in the Rochdale community and we look forward to welcoming students from the surrounding areas to their new school.”

Patrick Heisel

Projects Director, Department for Education 

I am incredibly proud of our new state of the art school, which is dedicated to providing an outstanding education for the families of Middleton and Heywood. The building has amazing facilities, which allows the school to deliver an exciting, broad and balanced curriculum. Our students have shown great resilience over the past few years in some very challenging circumstances. They now have a wonderful environment in which to learn, something they richly deserve.”

Marcin Kojder

Headteacher of Edgar Wood Academy

Another MMC scheme Wates is delivering through the DfE framework Star Salford Academy off Longshaw Drive in Little Hulton is part of the ongoing DfE’s Free School Programme. The six-acre site has been vacant since Hulton High School was demolished in 2009.

Once complete, the Sheppard Robson-designed Star Salford Academy will house 750 pupils within a 62,000 sq ft two-storey building. In addition to teaching spaces, there will also be a hard-court multi-use games area, all-weather pitch, and sports hall facility.

Wates is aiming to complete construction in time for the start of the 2023-2024 academic year.

Other education sector projects Wates has delivered within the North West include the 900-student Whitehaven Academy in Cumbria and the Hartford Church of England School in Northwich.