Welsh schools agreement signed

Ministers and preferred bidder establish project co; first MIM project to reach financial close in a year

The Welsh Education Partnership Company (WEPCo) has been formed between preferred bidder Meridiam and the Development Bank of Wales (on behalf of Welsh ministers).

WEPCo, the Welsh government and multiple local authorities and further education establishments have also signed the strategic partnering agreement that will see WEPCo be responsible for the delivery of a series of new privately financed schools across Wales.

Under the plans, WEPCO will deliver schools through the Welsh government’s mutual investment model (MIM), with the first project in the programme expected to reach financial close by the end of September 2021.

The announcement means that this procurement – the first of its kind in Wales – has met all key milestones on time, even despite the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The strategic partnering procurement was designed, developed, procured and delivered by a team of PPP experts from Local Partnerships deployed in the Education Directorate within the Welsh government led by the programme director, Sara Humber.

Advisors for the Welsh government were DLA Piper, PwC, Gleeds and Willis, while local authorities and further education institutions have been collectively advised by Bevan Brittan.

Meridiam was appointed preferred bidder on the deal in June this year.