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Zenith specialises in the sale, installation and maintenance of canopies for permanent and semi-permanent use.

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Zenith Blog

Creating all year round weather protection

Social Distancing Canopies and Shade Sails

Social Distancing Canopies and Shade Sails

Social Distancing has taken on a new meaning for students at Cardinal Newman College in Preston.

At the end of October 2020, the Larkhill College unveiled a new outdoor covered social space using Zenith Canopy Structures’ unique Vela 150 Shade sail system.

The Vela 150 sails can be used all year as they have been manufactured to UK Building Regulations for wind and snow loadings.

The college already boasts stunning grounds but with added pressure on circulation space due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the extra outdoor covered space allows students to maintain social distancing throughout the year.

College Principal, Nick Burnham and his senior leadership team, ably assisted with design by Land Studio, an architectural design and planning company from Chester, selected Zenith’s Vela 150 shade sails because of their unique design and the robust quality of the structures.

Nick said “the covered outdoor seating area has proved very popular so far with the students, as it provides great shelter in unpredictable weather.  We look forward to warmer months, where I am sure we will get more use out of the covered seating.  The canopies and seating fits well into the surroundings and compliments our grounds”.

The Vela 150 system is ideal for clients looking for the style and shape of a shade sail whilst benefitting from the added strength of the framework that, unlike most sails, it’s attached to the canopy all the way around its perimeter, preventing canopy sagging or wind damage.

The structure is manufactured from a powder coated steel framework that works as an integral gutter system whilst the canopy is made from PVDF coated PVC that is fully waterproof and UV resistant.

The Vela 150 is available in sizes from 4m x 4m to 6m x 6m and being modular, has endless add on capacity.


If you would like further information on any of our products please do not hesitate to call us on 01189 789072 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Vela 150 Shade Sail

The Vela 150 Shade Sail

In 2018, Paul Hooper, the Site Manager at Wexham Court Primary School in Slough, contacted Zenith to replace their old wooden structures with new canopies.

Ian Manners of Zenith quoted for 2 x 4m x 4m Airone Tipo 150 canopy structures, but unfortunately, at the time, the school didn’t have enough in their budget.

However, in October 2019, Paul Hooper asked for a re-quote.  The Head Teacher was very keen on Shade Sails.  This time Ian quoted for 2 x 4m x 4m Vela Sails but as with most sail structures, they do not have wind and snow loadings to UK Building Regulations.

So, as an alternative, Ian proposed the Vela 150 sail structure which do have wind and snow loadings to UK Building Regulations.  This time, the school had enough in their budget to order 2 x 4m x 4m Vela 150 structures in RAL 7037 grey metalwork and canopies in RAL 5002 blue.

The installation was completed on January 03rd  2020, in time for the return to school on Monday, January 6th .

The Vela 150 Structures are available in a range of standard sizes; 3m x 3m, 4m x 4m, 5m x 5m and 6m x 6m, but can be made to special order.  The metalwork is galvanised and can be powder coated in a choice of RAL colours. In addition, the structures also have a unique drainage system, whereby the beams act as gutters so rainwater runs off the canopies, into the beams, down through the leg columns and out through drainage holes at the bottom, or it can be linked to underground drains.


For further information or to discuss a project, please call 0118 978 9072, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.zenithcsl.com


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