Six secondary schools will be transformed as part of one of fastest BSF schemes to reach financial close

Sandwell has reached financial close on a £201m wave three Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.

Six secondary schools in the area will be transformed in the first phase of its BSF project and the council, private sector partner Environments For Learning (E4L) and Building Schools for the Future Investments (BSFI) have all signed up to revitalise schools in the area over the next decade.

E4L was only chosen as the private sector in March making this one of the fastest BSF schemes to reach financial close.

Work will begin work at the two sample sites, Rowley Regis Learning Campus and Smethwick Learning Campus this summer. It is expected that the buildings will be fully operational by 2011.

Council leader Bill Thomas said: "E4L has developed proposals with council officers that are both challenging and interesting, and now we are all ready to exploit this superb opportunity to create modern schools of which we can all be proud.

"The new and improved buildings, facilities and technology that we will be working on with E4L will have an enormous impact on the education and the life chances of every child in Sandwell."

Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, the government agency responsible for delivering BSF, said: "We congratulate Sandwell on reaching financial close, which is great news for the national BSF programme and even better news for the pupils and communities of Sandwell."