£400 million Bradford Education Partnership reaches Financial Close

15 December 2006
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The Amey-led consortium, Integrated Bradford, formed of Amey, Costain and HSBC Infrastructure Fund Management, has achieved Financial Close on the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme in Bradford.

The £400 million, 30-year partnership with Bradford Council is designed to transform education in the city, delivering 21st century learning environments that will raise attainment, create a high-tech workforce and extend learning opportunities to the whole community.  Bradford is one of the Government’s pathfinders for BSF and is one of the first authorities in the country to achieve Financial Close.

BSF is the government’s biggest investment in education for half a century, intended to promote a new approach to the design, construction and operation of secondary schools. During the next 10-15 years, the programme will renew and rebuild all the secondary schools in England, creating learning facilities that exploit information and communications technology, supported by operational services that allow teachers to focus on teaching.

In Bradford, the first phase of BSF will deliver three fully operational new schools by 2008, with a second phase creating both new and remodelled schools that integrate special needs facilities with mainstream secondary education. The construction services will be delivered by a Costain/Ferrovial Agroman joint venture, and the architects are Anshen and Allen and architecture plb.

Following the construction phases of the contract, Amey will take responsibility for the facilities management of the schools. This will incorporate services from caretaking through to cleaning, ground maintenance and security.

Each school will also be equipped with integrated Information and Communications Technology systems, provided by Sun Microsystems, to give every pupil access to wireless laptops. This will allow teachers to offer personalised learning tailored to meet the individual needs, interests and aptitudes of pupils.

Councillor Colin Gill, Executive Member of BDMC for Children's Services, said: "This is fantastic news for the district, as work can now begin to modernise the secondary estate so that every secondary student will be learning in an inspiring environment. This long-term partnership will invest in our schools to help boost educational attainment and the life chances for young people in the district."

Mel Ewell, Chief Executive of Amey, said: “We are delighted to have achieved Financial Close of this prestigious contract and to be embarking on a long-term partnership with the people of Bradford to transform secondary education throughout the district.”

Helen Aston, General Manager of Integrated Bradford added: “We are very excited about getting down to work. We fully support the council’s vision of transforming the educational facilities of the district and the opportunities for learning and enterprise for the whole community.”

Alistair Handford, Costain PFI Director, said: “This is tremendous news for local people and now gives us the 'green light' to deliver a quality service. At Costain we have targeted Education as one of our key sectors and this prestigious project underlines the progress we are making.”

Bradford’s BSF programme is being planned and delivered by a Local Education Partnership (LEP), jointly owned by the council, Integrated Bradford and Partnerships for Schools, the Government’s Non-Departmental Public Body established to deliver the BSF programme.

Tim Byles, Chief Executive of Partnerships for Schools, said: "It is excellent news for the schools of Bradford that the Council and Integrated Bradford have reached financial close on their Local Education Partnership. It is also great news for the national BSF programme - four local authorities are now in the delivery stage of BSF, and the programme's momentum is building up."

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