Pace picks up for schools


Pace picks up for schools

The pace of the Priority Schools Building programme is picking up with news of the award of over £170M of schools contracts from the Education Funding Agency and tendering for a £5Bn regional framework to start next month.


Kier has won two batches of priority schools worth £123M under the capital funded programme, for the East 2 and North East 2 batches. Intersperse has been awarded a £48M contract for the North West 3 batch.


The Priority School Building programme was set up in 2011 through a public private partnership (PPP) to rebuild or upgrade 261 schools. Schools had to bid for support and of the 580 who applied 261 were successful.


Contractors had to bid to be included on a framework for privately funded schools projects – which can be single schools or groups of schools - and so far over £1.6Bn of projects in the £2.4Bn programme have been awarded.


The £5Bn capital funded regional framework is being divided into five regional lots – London and South East; South West; Midlands; North West and North East. Projects will mostly involve refurbishments and improvements but there will be some new build. Tendering starts on 25 November and the frameworks are to start from July 2014.


Word is expected soon about the first batch of five batches of schools to be funded under the new private finance arrangement PF2, worth around £150M for schools in the Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading areas, for which Waters, Morgan Sindall and Intersperse have been shortlisted.


The shortlist for the second batch of PF2 schemes, worth some £120M for schools in the North East, includes Laing O’Rourke, Miller Construction and Sir Robert McAlpine. A bidders Day for the third PF2 batch was held this week in Wigan, for a £93M batch of 12 schools in the North West.