Schools schemes rush to close

A flurry of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) projects have reached financial close in recent weeks and more are expected to sign before the end of the year.

Since the start of December, four BSF projects have signed, while it is understood at least one more will close before the end of 2010.

Derby, St Helen’s, Oldham and Ealing have all reached financial close on their projects and Hertfordshire is scheduled to sign between Christmas and the New Year.

Meanwhile, Halton’s BSF programme – which chose the Local Transformational Partnership consortium (comprising Galliford Try, Hochtief and Vinci) on 7 December – is expected to be among the first projects to sign in 2011.

Five BSF deals were signed in November, suggesting private sector interest in the schemes remains strong despite the government’s decision to slash the programme earlier this year.

Only the sample schools in these projects have been given the go-ahead, with funding for future building work undertaken by local education partnerships uncertain.