Manchester Airport and construction firm Mace join forces to improve centre for pupils with additional needs


-          Airport and project management and construction bosses roll up their sleeves to carry out improvements at Stockport’s Pendlebury Centre

-          More than 40 volunteers redeveloped the entrance to the centre, which supports pupils who cannot attend mainstream education

-          The project is part of a commitment to support the community during the £1.3bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme

A transformation team from Manchester Airport diverted their talents to give a young person’s centre a facelift.

More than 40 volunteers from companies working on the £440m revamp of the airport’s Terminal 2 spent the day supporting the upgrade of the Pendlebury Centre, Stockport.

The Pendlebury Centre is a pupil referral unit providing support for pupils who struggle with their social, emotional and mental health needs. It ensures that special educational needs are identified and understood and aims to equip students and families with the skills, knowledge and resilience to face future challenges.

The team of volunteers came from companies including Manchester Airport itself, its construction partner MACE, as well as contractors including NG Bailey, DGP Logistics and McCrory Brickwork.

Between them, they donated 200 hours of time working on jobs including painting fences and digging borders. All materials were donated and funded by Manchester Airport, Mace and other supply chain partners including WysePower, Bethell Group, Hoare Lea, Beau Services and Speedy Services.

Jane Maxey, headteacher at the Pendlebury Centre, said:

“I cannot thank the volunteers enough for the support that they are giving to The Pendlebury Centre.  The work that has been completed to date has transformed our outdoor space. 

“What was once an uninviting and uninspiring area has become a welcoming and safe space for our students, staff and visitors.  The diligence, commitment, professionalism and genuine care that has been shown to us has been outstanding.

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside people who have such a 'can do attitude' and who want to make a difference for our vulnerable children and their families.  A most sincere thank you to MACE, Manchester Airport Group, NG Bailey, DGP Logistics, McCrory Brickwork and all of the volunteers.  Your support is greatly appreciated.”

Rick Wagstaffe, Director of MAN-TP Change (Operations), said,

“Leaving a lasting legacy in our local communities is a key part of Manchester Airport’s Transformation Programme. In phase one of the programme we hired 150 apprentices from the region, raised £100,000 for charity and spent £450m with local suppliers.

“We will continue this great work on phase two ensuring that we contribute significant social and economic benefits to surrounding communities. Over the course of the programme, we’re on track to deliver more than 1,500 apprenticeship weeks, provide over 500 volunteering hours to the community and spend more than £50,000 with social enterprises.

“The Pendlebury Centre is a fantastic facility that makes such a difference in the community so it’s a good feeling to be able to help it to better support the young people that rely on it.”

Andrew Walker, Project Management Operations Director for Mace Consult, said:

“Everyone involved in this event has a real sense of pride in what we achieved, knowing that it will have life-changing impacts on the children who rely on these services is invaluable. The centre will have the capacity to support even more students once the outdoor classroom is built which is a key aspect of this project.

“It is important to us that we can give back to the local community, not only through initiatives to improve Centres like Pendlebury but through educational and employability support.

“Mace is committed to providing opportunities for young people so they can learn about the different careers within the construction sector. We will continue to work with local partners and stakeholders to deliver social value impacts to the local communities surrounding Manchester Airport.”

The first part of the work on the Pendlebury Centre will focus on the entrance area; future phases will see the installation of new fencing to make it more private and transform a small area into an outdoor classroom.

The volunteering project is part of a wider package of measures to ensure Manchester Airport’s overall £1.3bn transformation programme leaves a legacy for the region.

In 2021 the extension to Terminal 2 opened, doubling the size of the terminal and providing the latest technology and a bright, modern environment.

Manchester Airport has now embarked on the second phase of the transformation, which will see the original Terminal 2 building refurbished to match the quality and functionality of the new extension, delivering a modern, state-of-the-art passenger experience throughout, and introducing an even greater array of shops, restaurants, and other facilities for those travelling through it.