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Scottish schools six months late after Jarvis sacking

NEWS

FIFE Council's £92 million schools Public Finance Initiative project will be delayed by six months following its decision to ditch troubled support services firm Jarvis.

The council's policy and resources committee agreed a revised programme for the 10 schools to be built under its Expanding Horizons project in a meeting last week, but has yet to appoint a new preferred bidder.

Councillors will decide between the two remaining consortia, Canmore and Emblem - which include Miller and Balfour Beatty - in November.

A spokeswoman said: 'The council has secured the design package for the project, for which planning permissions have been obtained, and has commenced a further round of bidding. We anticipate being able to conclude a contract before the end of the year.'

Construction, which had been due to start this summer, is now expected to start in January 2005, with the first four schools delivered in January 2006. The overall scheme is now due for completion by August 2006.

Jarvis has until October 8 to find a construction partner for its £76 million deal to build 37 schools for Norfolk County Council and is also in limbo on a £25 million deal to build four special schools for Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council in West Yorkshire.

A council source said: 'The scheme is now running about six months behind schedule.There is no sign of a deal yet and the council is considering all its commercial options, including talking to other bidders.'