Contractor to form alliance with Northern groups and lobbies government to give more framework deals to regional players

Leadbitter is in talks with several parties from the North of England about forming a national alliance to win work on the £4bn academies framework.

The contractor gets about one-third of its estimated £320m turnover from the education sector, but chief executive Bob Rendell believes the government must hand out more framework deals to regional players.

The government will increase the academies framework list from six to 10 contractors later this year and it is thought successful candidates will need to be national players.

BDP Leigh Academy
The framework for building academies such as this one, BDP's Leigh Academy in Dartford, is worth £4bn

He said: “We want a national alliance in place to get on the list so we're in talks with a few like-minded companies of similar size that cover the North of the country.”

The group has appointed Phil Porter from Hochtief to the role of strategic initiatives manager to spearhead the push into the education arena.

Rendell said the government should change its policy towards using regional contractors to get better value for money.

“The government has to wake up to the fact that there are large regional contractors out there and they are losing out hugely. They are going down the wrong road and not servicing UK plc properly at this difficult time for the economy.”

He pointed to one recent education job that was awarded to a single bidder. “National companies are so stretched sometimes they can't be everywhere at once. That can't mean the government is getting value for money.”

Rendell also said that the present system means he is unable to bid for academy work in the company's home city of Oxford.