Six more local authorities across England have today joined the Building Schools for the Future programme and will share nearly £420 million of investment from the Government.
The six new projects are Buckinghamshire (initially worth £80m), Cornwall (£69m), Gateshead (£80m), Lincolnshire (£70m), Oxfordshire (£62m) and Sutton (£56m).
Each of these BSF schemes – covering for rebuilds or refurbishment of secondary schools - will begin by summer 2010.
The local authorities can now start planning in detail to fast-track their most urgent building projects, far earlier than originally planned, with capital investment released from 2012/13.
Five of the six areas announced today are new to BSF, with Gateshead a repeat local authority which is working alongside South Tyneside to regenerate schools across the two areas.
Partnerships for Schools chief executive Tim Byles said: “With over 130,000 pupils and 12,000 teachers already benefitting from BSF investment the length and breadth of the country, today’ s announcement will ensure that even more young people and staff are given the schools that they deserve over the coming years.
“As well as delivering the new schools and facilities that local communities need, BSF is also welcome news for local employment, supporting tens of thousands of jobs on the ground in the construction and related industries.
“With over two thirds of all local authorities engaged in the BSF, we look forward to working with this latest cohort of local authorities to help deliver schools fit for the 21st century, and to ensure that taxpayers get maximum value from every education pound spent.”
Today’s announcement brings the total number of local authorities in England engaged in BSF to 101.
There are 149 schools benefitting from BSF now open in nearly 40 local authorities across England. A total of 50 deals have now reached financial close, with 20 of them – worth nearly £2.5 billion – signed since April 2009.