New names will compete for work on £45bn programme as two existing lists are combined

Almost 20 consultants have been picked for a new schools framework that will allow more firms to compete for work on the £45bn Building Schools for the Future programme.

Cyril Sweett, Capita Symonds, EC Harris and Davis Langdon are understood to be among the new names on a Partnerships for Schools (PfS) framework, which combines two existing lists – the technical framework and the project and programme management framework. The list is due to be announced in the next fortnight.

Gleeds, Gardiner & Theobald, Currie & Brown and Faber Maunsell, which are on the existing technical list, are also understood to be among the successful bidders. Turner & Townsend, Mouchel Parkman, Navigant Consulting and Mott MacDonald are also thought to have made the grade.

The expanded framework will be welcomed by firms eager to boost their public sector portfolios as commercial work dries up. One firm said a place on both the existing frameworks was worth about £5m in fees last year, but it is thought this figure will go up as more projects get under way.

We decided to combine the two frameworks. It is more efficient

PFS spokesperson

A place on the list prequalifies companies to provide consultancy to councils on BSF projects.

A spokesperson from PfS, the delivery agency for BSF, said: “The two existing frameworks were coming up for expiration and we decided to combine them in one framework. It is more efficient as there are synergies across the two areas.”

PfS is attempting to speed up the programme after a series of delays. Last week, Building revealed that schemes in Barnsley, Birmingham, Salford and Wigan, worth almost £2bn, have fallen further behind schedule.