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Council to sign off on Kier BSF contracts despite school canopy collapse

Telford and Wrekin Council has reaffirmed its commitment to award Kier Moss three schools contracts before the end of the year despite a major health and safety incident.

A steel and timber canopy over the entrance to the new Abraham Darby Academy building collapsed on 25 August, hospitalising five men who were working on top of it at the time.

Kier Moss is the main contractor on the site.

The Health and Safety Executive and council technical adviser Mott Macdonald are carrying out investigations into the cause of the collapse. Telford and Wrekin has confirmed the handover of the new facility will now be delayed.

But plans to award three more Building Schools for the Future contracts to Kier will not be affected, a council spokesman has now confirmed.

“Telford & Wrekin Council is continuing with its Building Schools for the Future programme as planned.

“Planning applications have been submitted by the contractor in relation to the next round of schemes and will be determined by the council’s plans board in due course,” he said.

The council appointed Kier as its main BSF framework contractor in 2009 and it has since been awarded contracts for the Abraham Darby Sports and Learning Community and Madeley Academy.

It is working with the council to develop schemes for the Phoenix School, Newport Girls’ High School Academy Trust and Mount Gilbert Special School.

Contracts have not yet been awarded for the schemes. If they were not awarded by 31 December they would not be eligible under the current framework and will have to be re-tendered.

The schemes were approved in principle by the council’s cabinet at the outline business case stage but as each project is brought forward it must be signed off by Partnerships for Schools and again by the cabinet for the final business case.

Once these approvals are given Telford and Wrekin can award the fixed price design and build contract.

The approved capital programme includes £144.1 million for the BSF project covering the financial periods 2011/12 to 2016/17.

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