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30th July 2020



Ainscough Crane Hire’s Heavy Cranes team played a key role in enabling a brand new school, built almost entirely in a factory, to be completed in just twelve weeks during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The project saw the new modular building for Sir Frederick Gibberd College in Harlow being delivered to site in sections. Lead contractor Caledonian Modular worked within government guidelines in order to ensure the project stuck as closely as possible to the required timetable while guaranteeing the safety of everyone on site.

Ainscough was appointed to lift the 198 modules into place on a contract lift basis. The modules had been built in a factory in the Midlands and arrived complete with concrete floors, internal fit-out and external cladding.

Ainscough utilised a 500t crane to deliver the lifting operation, with the work completed by operators Steven Rowles and Mark Middleton. The contract lift was planned by Dave Prowse and Lea Price.

The work caught the attention of the national media, with the project profiled on MailOnline.

Timelapse footage of the project can also be seen here.

Paul McNaughton, National Account Manager at Ainscough Crane Hire said: “Ainscough has developed extensive experience in modular projects in recent years, and we used our knowledge to adapt our working methods in line with social distancing measures and occasionally difficult weather conditions to ensure the lift operation was delivered efficiently and safely.”
Barrie Newman, Caledonian project director, said: “Caledonian are very pleased to be undertaking this full turnkey scheme directly for the Department for Education to provide 1,700 urgently needed school pupil places in Harlow.”

Headteacher Dee Conlon, who visited the factory in November where the modules were put together, said: “Seeing the 2D plans we worked on for a year standing in front of me in real life was incredible. Our families, children and staff cannot wait for the school to be completed and not just because it will be a brand-new shiny building, but because it will be our home; a safe place to learn, laugh and grow.”

The secondary school is due to move across to the new building in 2021.

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