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Locals fight nationals for £45m schools job

CONTRACTS WIGAN

A DAVID-versus-Goliath battle is looming on an education framework in the north-west.

Lincolnshire firm WR Kerfoot and Blackpool outfit Parkinson are up against Bluestone, Eric Wright, Mansell and Seddon for the work in Wigan.

The first projects will see two special needs schools built, along with a high school, under the Building Schools for the Future programme. The combined cost will be £45 million.

The framework has been split into two bands, with the special schools in band one, which covers costs between £3.6 million and £9 million.

The high school is in band two, which covers projects up to £25 million.

Tenders go back in three weeks' time and the winning contractors will be appointed in December. Work will start next spring, with the high school opening in September 2009 and the special needs schools early in 2010.