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Kier replaces Bam on £46m London schools

Kier will build five schools in London worth £46m, Construction News can reveal, after Bam and the Education Funding Agency parted ways on the schools having failed to reach an agreement on costs.

The EFA has appointed Kier to the £46m London 2 batch, replacing Bam Construction on five schools it was originally in line for when it was selected as preferred bidder for the London batch in May 2013.

Bam and the EFA parted ways on five out of eight schools from the £75m London batch, after they failed to reach an agreement on costs for two of the schools, requiring the EFA to take the five schools back to market.

Kier was initially shortlisted against Bam for the £75m London batch in 2013. Calls for bids for the five-school batch were reissued to the EFA’s national Contractors’ Framework in April 2014.

Meanwhile Construction News has learned Wates has been awarded a separate batch of Priority School Building Programme schools in London, worth £81m.

Wates has been appointed to build the Barking, Dagenham and Newham batch of schools, which was released to the framework on 16 May.

Galliford Try and Kier have also been shortlisted for the £62m Brent batch of schools in north London.

Latest PSBP batches

London 2 (£46m) Winner: Kier

Barking, Dagenham and Newham (£81m) Winner: Wates

Brent (£62m) Shortlisted: Galliford Try and Kier

Galliford Try was awarded its first PSBP win in June, when it was appointed to the £35.7m Hull and East Riding batch.

Batches of schools released to the framework typically take six weeks from the invitation to tender stage to the appointment of a preferred bidder.

Construction News understands another London batch, covering Waltham Forest, was released to the EFA’s main Contractors’ Framework on 16 May.

Firms on the framework have expressed concerns about rising material and labour costs, particularly in the capital.

Earlier this month, Construction News revealed the EFA has allowed for an inflationary increase in its cost per sq m target of “approximately 5 per cent”.

Bam had been negotiating with the EFA over costs on the London schools since it was appointed to the £75m batch in May 2013, but they were unable to agree a price for Lansdowne School, a special school in Lambeth, and Hawkswood School, a pupil referral unit in Waltham Forest.

The contractor is continuing to deliver three London schools where work has already started on site: Stratford Academy in Newham, Harris Academy Greenwich and Pardes House Primary School in Finchley.

The five schools in Kier’s London 2 batch are: Harris Academy and Primary Academy in Beckenham, which are due to open to pupils in September 2015; Harris Academy Bromley; Hawkswood School in Waltham Forest; and Landsdowne School in Lambeth.

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