Contractors are to be offered a new chance to secure work on schools projects when the national academies framework is revamped next year.
Partnerships for Schools (PfS), the government’s delivery body for the £45bn Building Schools for the Future and academies programmes, will invite new contractors to bid as the current framework expires in 2010.
Tim Byles, chief executive of PfS, confirmed that the framework was to be renewed but would not comment on speculation that it was to be doubled in size. He said: ‘Later this year we are likely to start the procurement of a new national framework but the dimensions of that are not yet clear in terms of size and reach.’
It is expected that contractors on the new framework will also be able to secure work on some of the smaller BSF projects as the government attempts to boost the progress of the programme. ‘We’ve had some smaller BSF schemes already – Middlesbrough and Sunderland – using our national academies framework and that’s worked very well,’ said Byles. ‘Some authorities that have smaller-scale investments will be able to use frameworks and more localised procurement mechanisms going forward.’
The inclusion of primary schools, procured through the £9bn Primary Capital Programme, in academies and BSF programmes is likely to provide a further stream of work for contractors. The six contractors on the existing framework are Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Skanska and Willmott Dixon.