Cedars Academy

Cedars Academy Case Study

Cedars Academy is a specialist school for young people aged three to 19 with physical, sensory and medical needs; language and communication disorders; autism; and a wide range of other complex needs often associated with emotional vulnerability.

The Gateshead-based school is cherished by the local community, who support its aim to nurture, inspire and prepare pupils for life – a mission encompassed in its strapline “Fit for Life”.


Cedars Academy had passed the end date for their energy contracts for their Walker Terrace facility, which provides education for young people over the age of 16.  As a reflection of their record of excellent practice, the Academy was keen to keep a handle on its outgoing costs.  In a climate where education establishments are receiving less funding than ever, reducing running costs is essential.


Cedars Academy enlisted the help of nearby cost reduction specialist Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) to assess expenditure and determine whether they could improve their position at Walker Terrace.  The fact that the Academy had run onto out-of-contract rates allowed GAS to get to work quicker and make an immediate impact.

Out-of-contract rates are currently under attack from the government in the residential energy sector, where they are known as ‘standard variable tariffs’.  Energy regulator Ofgem is planning to cap their price as part of the government’s new legislation.  But this doesn’t take into account the commercial energy sector, where they are still rife and businesses are expected to be able to circumnavigate them on their own.  But this can be tricky!

GAS acted fast to secure significantly improved rates on the Academy’s gas and electricity contracts, saving 35% on each.

With no contract in place, these went live immediately and savings began the following month.  Cedars College were pleased enough with the outcome to invite GAS to assess their energy expenditure at their other facility elsewhere in Gateshead.  Work is ongoing to generate even more savings for the College.


  • Significant savings of almost £10,000 on energy rates for their Walker Terrace facility
  • A new three-year energy contract and support managing the contract to manage future market conditions
  • Help with any other areas of expenditure that the Academy is looking to reduce costs
  • Cost predictability provided for the next three years in an uncertain funding climate for UK Academies


The monetary saving we’ve been given is obviously a major boost for us, as it would be for any business.  But the time saving has been equally well-received.

Great Annual Savings took the hassle out of the situation for us and delivered a significantly improved contract that helps us plan our expenditure into the future.

I look forward to continuing working with GAS.”

Michelle Gray, Finance Director


We could do the same for you. Make an appointment with our Bill Doctor.
It’s a free, no obligation service, so there’s literally nothing to lose.


Sign up to our NewsletterStay up to date with the latest industry news and offers.

Share this post

Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.