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Exclusive: Three shortlisted for £40m Ponteland school hub

Three contractors are battling to win a £40m deal to build an education and leisure hub in the North-east.

Construction News understands Bam Construct, Kier and Willmott Dixon have all been shortlisted to build a secondary school, a primary school and a leisure centre in Ponteland, north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Under the plans, Ponteland First School, Ponteland Community High School and Ponteland Leisure Centre will be brought together in one building.

The project will provide 1,600 secondary school places, 420 primary school places and a leisure centre featuring swimming pools, 3G football pitches and fitness studios as well as cricket and rugby pitches and a sports hall.

The site will cover 20 ha currently home to an existing leisure centre, which client Northumberland County Council has described as “old, tired and un-economical”.

The project, which has a total outturn cost of £46.7m and a build cost of £39.6m, is being fully funded by the council.

It is being procured on a two-stage design-and-build contract, with the three shortlisted firms entering a design competition and the winning contractor expected to be announced in March.

A planning application is due to be submitted in April, with a two-year construction programme starting on site in August.

Bam and Willmott Dixon declined to comment. Kier has been contacted for comment.

In December, Northumberland County Council picked Galliford Try to build its new headquarters in Ashington.

The contractor will deliver a five-storey Grade A office, alongside upgrades to local roads, modifications of existing junctions and the provision of nearly 500 parking spaces.

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