Contractor carrying out remedial work at just four of 17 schools closed over safety fears

Galliford Try has said it is responsible for less than a quarter of the 17 schools in Edinburgh that have been forced to shut over construction safety fears.

The contractor said Miller Construction, who won the £360m contract as part of a consortium in 2001 and which was acquired by Galliford Try two years ago, was only involved in four of the schools affected.  

In a statement, Galliford Try said: “In March this year we were notified that Oxgangs Primary School, built by Miller Construction more than 10 years ago, lost part of one external wall which blew off in [January’s] Storm Gertrude.

“Oxgangs was built as part of Edinburgh’s PPP schools programme between 2002 and 2005.  The programme, which comprised 17 schools in two phases, was managed by an SPV, Edinburgh Schools Partnership.”

The statement said the consortium subcontracted the construction of the schools to a number of contractors, including Miller.

It added: “Through its acquisition of Miller Construction, Galliford Try has contractual responsibility for four of the 17 schools. Remedial work required to remedy defects in those four schools is nearing completion and the costs are not material to the group.”

The news comes as leading Scottish architect Malcolm Fraser slammed the PFI scheme and said the schools’ closure is a direct consequence of a “fantastically complex” procurement process that placed little focus on design.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “They’re fantastically complex financial instruments that were used to procure them and all the focus was on the process and the enrichment of bankers and lawyers along the way and none of the attention was on the quality of the built environment.”

Edinburgh council said today that a programme of structural surveys arranged by the Edinburgh Schools Partnership, which also includes Amey, is continuing this week.