Edinburgh leads the way with £80m investment in new-build and refurbishment.
Scottish councils plan to spend £190m on school redevelopment projects under the private finance initiative.

This is in addition to the £70m PFI deal with Ballast Wiltshier for five schools in Falkirk and a £136m deal to regenerate Glasgow schools, which is still under discussion.

The City of Edinburgh Council is commissioning the biggest of the new projects: £80m is to be spent on new buildings and refurbishment.

The project will include the construction of seven primary schools, four special needs schools, a secondary school and three refurbishments.

Other councils that have been given the go-ahead for PFI deals include Fife, West Lothian, Stirling, Aberdeenshire, Highland, and East Renfrewshire.

A spokesman for Edinburgh council said the legal, financial and technical advisers for the deal will be appointed in the next six weeks. These consultants will prepare specifications assess the already completed site surveys, and assess bids.

Edinburgh council is planning to hold a conference in June for bidders and will be sending out a questionnaire in May to gauge interest. The spokesman said the council hoped to compile a list of preferred bidders in September. Davis Langdon & Everest is one of the bidders hoping to be appointed technical adviser for the Edinburgh package.

The spokesman added that spending on schools was helping to keep the Scottish construction market healthy. The Edinburgh housing and office market is already perking up in anticipation of the creation of the Scottish parliament.

New work includes a £3.3m project to provide a temporary parliament in the Church of Scotland Assembly Hall and to upgrade secretariat offices.

In Glasgow, industry sources say there are up to six large companies looking for office space in the city, and that could spark a small office boom.

Sources also report renewed interest from industrial investors. One QS said semiconductor manufacturers are considering reinvestment to take account of new manufacturing techniques.

Smaller inward investors from the buoyant US market are also looking at Scotland. One source said software vendors were interested because of tough Scottish protection of intellectual property rights.

New funding for Scottish schools

→Edinburgh: £80m →Fife: £32m →West Lothian: £27.8m →Stirling: £16.5m →Highland: £16.5m →Aberdeenshire: £14.5m →East Renfrewshire: £12.5m