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10 May 2018

Ceremony marks “topping out” at Campus Whitehaven

Students from Mayfield School and St Benedict’s Catholic High School marked the “topping out” of the new Campus Whitehaven building at a rooftop ceremony this morning.

The students had the chance to start the installation of the final roof seals, which will mean the building is soon fully watertight. They were joined by representatives from the two schools, main contractor Wates Construction and the funders of the new campus, including the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd, Copeland Community Fund, and Cumbria County Council.

The build started in July last year and massive progress has been made since then, despite extremely challenging weather over the winter. With the roof complete, work is happening at pace on the interior fit out, with classrooms, corridors and other facilities starting to take shape inside. Work has also begun on landscaping the significant outdoor areas which will become sports facilities and play areas.

Mary Lowrey, Business Director at St Benedict’s Catholic High School, said:

“The staff, students and their families are proud to be part of this exciting new Campus. The new facilities in the joint Campus building, in terms of resources, environment, IT infrastructure and sports/ leisure provision can only benefit current and future generations in our community and we are delighted to be part of this.”

Gillian Temple, Headteacher at Mayfield School, said:

“Today was fantastic and I was very proud of our pupils who came along today and helped lay the ceremonial roof tile. They came back to school this afternoon and have been sharing their excitement with the other pupils, which has been great to see. What struck me is the scale of the campus, I can really start to see how transformational this will be for our pupils and I can’t wait for us to get in and start benefiting from the new facilities.”

Cllr David Southward, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the progress that’s been made. You can really see how the finished product will look now and I’m excited about the benefits that the Campus will bring, both for the students at the two schools and the local community.”

David Moore, Copeland Community Fund, Chair, said “It’s great to see such progress being made on site.  The sports and community facilities will make a real difference to the young people and the local community.  It’s an exciting time for the area”.   

Tony Shenton, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction North West, said: “Today’s topping out ceremony provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the progress being made on what will be a vital addition to Copeland, one that will have a significant impact upon young people and the local community.

“The success of the project to date is a testament to the excellent relationship we’ve developed with the Council and our partners, and we were very happy to welcome them on site to celebrate this milestone. As we head towards completion, we will continue to work closely with the people of Whitehaven, providing skills and training opportunities for local people and utilising our excellent local supply chain.”

Mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie said:

“It was a pleasure to attend today’s ceremony to see first-hand the progress being made at this state-of-the-art campus. This project will be transformational for our community’s education and development and I look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”

The unprecedented £30million investment in the campus comes from a range of partners including The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd, Copeland Community Fund, and Cumbria County Council. 

The campus will include new state of the art facilities for St Benedict’s Catholic High School and Mayfield Special School and bring them together on the current St Benedict’s site replacing the buildings, radically improving the teaching and learning environment and creating the potential for boosting students’ aspiration and attainment.

As part of an approach, aimed at improving the whole community’s health and well-being as well as education, the project includes new, community accessible, sports provision on the campus site. 

Overall the project is about investing in the future of West Cumbria, ensuring that there is the knowledge, skills and good health in the community to get the most from the opportunities presented by the anticipated growth of the nuclear and renewables industry.


L-R Joseph, Chloe (both St Benedicts Catholic High School), Bailey (Mayfield School), Simon Humphrey (Wates), Alicia (Mayfield School)


Pupils from the two school plus project stakeholders (NDA, Sellafield Ltd, Copeland Community Foundation, Cumbria County Council, Copeland Borough Council)

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Students from Mayfield School and St Benedict’s Catholic High School marked the “topping out” of the new Campus Whitehaven building at a rooftop ceremony this morning.