A primary school in Seacroft has received an overwhelming response following a plea for local businesses to assist with a much-needed makeover to some of its classrooms.

Parklands Primary School, which is situated in one of Leeds most deprived catchment areas where 89% of pupils receive free school meals, approached developers of the nearby Thorpe Park Leeds, after a successful engagement project at Christmas.

Head teacher Chris Dyson, who was hailed a legend by the Yorkshire Evening Post in 2015 because of his inspirational leadership, said, “The current state of some of our classrooms is pretty poor and rather than wait for a maintenance budget to ‘appear’ I was able to convince the lovely people at Thorpe Park Leeds to don their overalls and help us to get the job done during half term.”

Simon Marshall, joint Chief Executive of Scarborough International Properties which owns Thorpe Park Leeds jointly with Legal and General Capital, is leading a team of 15 volunteers from businesses involved with the new development phase.  These include GMI Construction, GMI Energy, Northern Regeneration, Travel Plan Services, French PR and E S Decorators. Facilities management firm Mitie, who occupies space at Thorpe Park Leeds has also volunteered a team of four.

As well as donating the time to paint at least four classrooms in one day, GMI is providing all materials.

Simon Marshall said, “We are delighted to be able to assist Parkland Primary School to help to create a better learning environment for pupils.  As we progress a very active programme of development for phase two at Thorpe Park Leeds we are also committed to support the local community with a dedicated CSR agenda that spans throughout and beyond our delivery programme.”

Thorpe Park Developments Ltd, in collaboration with GMI Construction, has committed to a local schools’ engagement programme where managers regularly present to students from local ward areas and host bespoke events/competitions. A recent initiative with Ahead Partnership and Construction & Housing Yorkshire to broaden female student’s perceptions of the construction industry received 100% positive feedback.

It is also working closely with Employment Leeds and other partners to promote and support job opportunities on site including apprenticeships.

Chris Dyson concludes, “We are so very grateful for this generous support from Thorpe Park Leeds and its team of volunteers.  It is going to be such a lovely surprise for the children when they return to have a shiny new classroom to learn in.”