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Three in for £100m first priority schools

Bam Construction has been shortlisted for tender stage on the first two batches of capitally funded priority schools projects, worth up to £100 million, against two competitors.

In the North-east it will go up against Sir Robert McAlpine for nine schools with a total capital cost of around £60m to £64m.

They will include two schools from East Riding originally due to be procured through PFI.

The Midlands batch is for a total value of around £32m to £36m and will comprise four primary schools, one secondary and one special school, with Wates the other bidder involved.

The contractors on the North and Midlands framework include Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Interserve and Shepherd.

The third batch to come to market will be in London, which comprises five schools worth a total of £44m to £54m and is now at ITT stage.

Local authorities in the first batches:

North-east: Durham, East Riding, Gateshead, Sheffield, Stockton, Sunderland

Midlands 1: Coventry

London: Barnet, Greenwich, Lambeth, Newham. Waltham Forest

North-west 1: Blackpool, Cheshire West, Halton, Manchester, Tameside

South: Devon, Isle of Wight, Kent, Poole, Southampton

East: Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire

Midlands 2: Birmingham, Derby, Nottinghamshire

North-west 2: Liverpool, St Helens, Wirral

Apollo/Keepmoat, JB Leadbitter and Rydon are the contractors on the South framework who will be open to bid for the London academies alongside Balfour Beatty, Bam Construction, Carillion, Lend Lease, Interserve, Kier, Sir Robert McAlpine, Wates and Willmott Dixon.

Education Funding Agency director of capital Mike Green said last month that he expects the PFI batches to start procurement in December, as revealed by CN.

Wates’ group investment director and head of education Stephen Beechey said: “Although the much-delayed announcement on what will replace the private finance initiative is now expected to take place in December, contractor investors need to know what the mechanics of a revised model include in order to safely ensure the future of social infrastructure investment.

“Whether the chancellor announces cosmetic changes to the existing system or declares a revolution in PFI funding remains to be seen, although it is more likely to be the former.

“Above all else, what is needed is greater clarity of purpose from the Treasury on what framework or model contractors can expect to work within going into 2013.”

Click here for Wates’ group investment director and head of education Stephen Beechey’s views on the Priority School Building Programme.




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