Work has started on the first phase of the £1 billion Barnsley Building Schools for the Future programme.
Barnsley’s BSF programme has reached financial close for the first phase of the programme with Barnsley Partnership for Learning (BP4L), a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and John Laing, selected to carry out building work.
BP4L will transform educational facilities throughout the borough alongside ICT partner Civica.
In addition, John Laing Integrated Services will provide facilities management services on the PFI and the design and build schools over the 25 year concession.
Nine Advanced Learning Centres (ALCs) and two special schools will be built over coming years, with the first five due to open in 2011.
Each new school will cost between £25 million and £30 million with much of the funding coming from the council’s and schools’ own resources and additional funding from others, including central government.
The new educational facilities will feature state of the art physical and virtual facilities for Barnsley’s secondary and special pupils, adult learners, teachers, support staff and others involved in the teaching and learning environment.
Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnership for Schools, the Government agency responsible for BSF, said it will deliver “cutting edge design” in three phases with all the ALCs in Barnsley currently planned to be built and open by 2012/13.
Stephen Beechey, speaking on behalf of Barnsley Partnership for Learning, said: “We are extremely excited to be a partner in delivering this life changing commitment.
“BP4Lis dedicated to building long term strategic partnerships and has enjoyed building a strong working relationship with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council throughout the bid process.”