Architects and consultants this week submitted final bids for work on the Learning and Skills Council’s framework for building and refurbishing further education colleges.

This is expected to be worth £1.6bn and is due to finish in January 2012.

The framework will be split into three areas: design, cost and project management.

The architects and consultants framework will be operational by early 2008; work on developing a contractors framework will start later this year.

There will be three separate regional frameworks – one in northern England, one in the Midlands and one in southern England.

The LSC said there had been a good level of response to the Official Journal notice posted earlier this year.