THREE organisations have been short-listed for a flagship £25 million Private Finance Initiative education scheme in the east end of London.
The trio of bidders picked by client the London Borough of Newham are: Balfour Beatty; Newschools, comprising WS Atkins and Wates; and a group led by Mace and insurance giant Norwich Union.
Tender documents have been issued and bids must be returned early next month.
A start on site is expected early next year.
The deal could be one of the first to involve the Treasury's newly-created PFI consultant, Partnerships UK (PUK).
The body takes over from the Treasury Taskforce this summer and will act as a consultant and also in certain cases, a funder.
The London Borough of Newham has indicated that it is considering using PUK as either a consultant or funder, but has made no firm commitment.
Council project advisor Peter Richardson would only say: 'We are at the invitation to negotiate stage and have got no further.'
The council has recruited Pinsent Curtis as a legal advisor and central London-based Abros as a cost consultant. The scheme comprises replacing East Beckton secondary school at Kingsford Way with a 1,500-place school with dining and sports facilities.
Also included is building replacement primary/nursery schools on playing fields at Cumberland Road and Northern Road in Newham.
Outline planning applications have been submitted for all three developments.
The schemes at Kingsford Way and Northern Road have both been approved, but a decision on the Cumberland Road proposal is still pending.