Abington Vale Primary School

We created an outdoor covered area for Abington Vale Primary School so children can play sports outdoors in all weathers.


We were contacted by Abington Vale Primary School as they wanted to create sheltered outdoor space at the school. The school wanted a covered sports pitch where children could play outside while still under cover, helping to optimise the outdoor space all year round. 

The requirement

The school needed a freestanding canopy with a large central span so that children could play sports outside without worrying about the weather. Line marking would be completed underneath the covered area to create a full sports pitch.

The challenge

For health and safety purposes, it was important that the canopy allowed for access for emergency vehicles. We had to take the span between the posts and the height of the canopy into consideration. This meant paying attention to working at height regulations and carrying out thorough site-specific Risk Assessments and Method Statements.

Planning permission and building control were required for the project, due to the proximity of the canopy to the boundary and the size of the covered area. The site originally had many large trees around its perimeter, which were overgrown and, in some cases, dangerous. The school needed to apply to have some of the trees removed, while others had Tree Preservation Orders in place and needed to remain.

The solution

Canopies UK attended the site to discuss the options available, with our surveyor advising the school on the spans available for the canopy and the best option to cover the space. We marked out the area to show the coverage that would be offered, and the location was agreed.

For this project, we used a Connekt Colosseum canopy, which covered an area on 15m long by 7.5m wide. The height was agreed at 3.5m high to allow the area to be used for sports and games whilst also allowing room for a fire engine and emergency vehicles to access underneath.

To install the canopy at height, we used a scissor lift and material lifts. We assisted with drawings and information for the planning permission application, and as with any installation, provided full site-specific calculations for wind and snow loads. Once the specified trees had been removed, we also took the remaining roots and ground drainage into consideration during installation.


While the canopy was delayed due to the planning process and building control application, we completed the works in the time that was scheduled. The school and the Academy Trust are both very happy with the canopy and the service from Canopies UK.

“Canopies UK were quick to respond to quotes and emails, and were efficient, pleasant and cost-effective. The enquiry was dealt with in a timely and professional manner and we were kept well informed throughout.”

Ginny Wareham, School Business Manager, Abington Vale Primary School