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Three shortlisted for £120m North-east private schools

The Education Funding Agency has shortlisted three contractors to compete for the second batch of privately financed priority schools worth up to £120m, Construction News can reveal.

Laing O’Rourke, Miller Construction and Sir Robert McAlpine have been shortlisted to bid for the £120m batch of 12 schools in the North-east.

Earlier this year, Sir Robert McAlpine was awarded the first batch of capitally funded priority schools worth £64m, also in the North-east.

The batch covers six primary schools and six secondary schools in Durham, Gateshead, Northumberland, North Tyneside, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees and Sunderland.

The three bidders will now enter a 17-week competitive dialogue period with the EFA, with the final bids due in February 2014.

Overall, the batch of schools is expected to take 15 months to procure.

Neither Miller nor Laing O’Rourke is on the EFA’s existing contractors’ framework for school building. Nor were the two contractors shortlisted for its new £4bn contractors’ framework, which is due to come into effect this November.

According to the EFA, the North-east batch is expected to have a construction value of £94m, while the total funding requirement of the work could be up to £120m.

Last month, Morgan Sindall, Wates and a joint venture between Interserve and property developer Kajima were shortlisted to bid for the Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading batch of seven schools worth up to £150m.

The North-east batch is the second batch of privately finance schools to come to market under the Priority School Building Programme to refurbish or rebuild 261 schools in urgent need of repair in England.

In all, work on 46 schools will be privately financed while the remaining 215 schools are being capitally funded.

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