Bovis Lend Lease is construction partner on 15-year transformation of the city's secondary, primary and special schools

Birmingham City Council has reached financial close on the first stage of the city's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme with the public-private partnerships investor Catalyst Lend Lease and Building Schools for the Future Investments (BSFI).

The first phase of the programme, worth £180m, will kick start a transformation of the city's secondary, primary and special schools over the next 10-15 years.

Once completed, it will result in 150,000 students being accommodated in new or refurbished school facilities.

Tim Byles
PfS' Byles: "a major milestone in the city's BSF project"

The next stage will see 16 architects working with Catalyst Lend Lease and its construction partner Bovis Lend Lease to deliver six phases of design requirements up until 2024.

Facilities manager Vita Lend Lease will maintain the completed schools on 25-year contracts.

Construction work has begun at Broadway school, Stockland Green technology college and the co-located Holte secondary school, Mayfield special needs school and Lozells primary school, which are all set for completion by March 2011. Design development is under way on 14 other schools that will be finished in 2012.

The schools will be equipped with wood chip burning biomass boilers, solar panels and wind turbines.

Thirty local companies are already in line for contracts on the first schools and Bovis Lend Lease is keen to recruit other businesses based in the West Midlands to the BSF supply chain.

Gary Taylor, chief operating officer of Catalyst Lend Lease, said: “Over the coming years we want to create new learning environments in the city that will match the expectations and the needs of teachers and students far into the 21st century.”

Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, said: “I am delighted that Birmingham has reached financial close as it is a major milestone in the city's BSF project, which will see not only pupils and students benefiting from new school buildings but local communities as a whole.”