Plans to create The Northern School of Art in Middlesbrough, a £14.5 million scheme that will transform the gateway to the City, have taken a significant step forward after one of the UK’s largest and longest established contractors was appointed to deliver it.


BAM Construction, which has offices in Gateshead and has built in the North East since 1916, is to create the high-quality premises to 750 students.

It follows BAM’s appointment to create the Home Group’s new Headquarters in Newcastle this week.

The Northern School of Art is the only specialist provider of art and design education in the North East, providing a range of courses – including arts, design, theatre and film courses - from school leavers to postgraduates. It has an Outstanding Ofsted rating since 2009.

Among other things, the 5500m2, three-storey community building will contain a specialist TV studio and art workshops, and has an attractive high-quality finish with exposed services and terracotta façade. It will have several features encouraging sustainability and energy efficiency.

The school is relocating from its current 1960s premises which it says are not fit for the 21st century to Middlesbrough town centre on a site currently occupied by a car park. The move supports the creative and digital city vision for the City and is funded with investment from Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) with support from Middlesbrough Council.

BAM was chosen following a competition process under the YORBuild framework. The company has been behind many local schemes in the recent past, such as two brand new secondary schools in Hartlepool, English Martyrs and High Tunstall College of Science, My Place in Redcar, Redcar and Cleveland College, Sunderland Bede College, and Teesside University among others. It’s Construction Director Tony Fitzgerald, says:

“What we bring to this scheme is experience in the FE sector and in particular Art and Media facilities. Our emphasis is twofold: firstly, we are known for the high standards and quality of our work.

“Secondly, we are known for being the UK’s most collaborative contractor, which is down to our people and the technology we use to connect how we work with our partners. It is also a sign that we value the people around us and work enthusiastically with local communities.”

The architect is Seven Architecture.

BAM has moved on site and will finish in time for the new school to open for the new term in September 2021.