Willmott Dixon, Carillion, Kier and Wates selected for last four batches of £400m first phase of programme

Schoold design

Four contractors have been picked for the final batches of schools to come to market through the £400m first phase of the government’s flagship school building programme.

Willmott Dixon, Carillion, Wates and Kier each won one of the final four batches of schools to be procured through the first phase of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) this week.

Willmott Dixon beat competition from Bam Construct for the £21m batch of schools in the North-west - called North-west 2 - which comprises four schools in the local authority areas of Liverpool, St Helens and Wirral. This was the first batch of schools Willmott Dixon has won through the PSBP.

Carillion beat Bam for the £47m North-west 1 batch of schools - also the first batch of PSBP schools to be won by Carillion. The batch covers seven schools in the local authority areas of Blackpool, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, Manchester, and Tameside.

Kier picked up its first batch of schools, after beating Interserve to the £30m batch in the south of England. This comprises seven schools in the local authority areas of Bristol, Devon, Isle of Wight, Poole, Southampton and Wiltshire.

Wates beat Kier to the £33m batch in the east of England, which comprises six schools in the local authority areas of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Kent and Hertfordshire. This was Wates’ second batch, after it won a £38m batch in the Midlands earlier this year.

Contractors’ attention now shifts to the next phase of the programme, which comprises £300m worth of directly funded schools to be procured in four batches, covering the West Midlands, the North-east, the east of England, and the North-west.

The Education Funding Agency said it expects the batches to come to market within six months.

Meanwhile, the first batch of schools through the £700m private finance programme , worth £122m and covering Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading, is expected to come to market next month, with a bidders day scheduled for 28 May.

£400m first phase priority schools

  • North-east 1 £57m, nine schools Contractor Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Midlands 1 £38m, six schools Contractor Wates
  • London  £75m, seven schools Contractor Bam Construct
  • Midlands 2  £28m, four schools Contractor Bam Construct
  • North-west 1 £47m, eight schools Contractor Carillion
  • South £30m, seven schools Contractor Kier
  • North-west 2 £21m, four schools Contractor Willmott Dixon
  • East £33m, six schools Contractor Wates