EFA’s Mike Green confirms £2bn second phase will start procurement in 2017

The long-awaited £2bn second phase of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) will come to market after Christmas, the Education Funding Agency’s capital director Mike Green has said.

The 277-school programme – originally conceived to run between 2015 and 2021 – has been pushed back a number of times. Building revealed in the summer that it wasn’t expected until October or November, but this date has also slipped.

In a video interview published on Building.co.uk ahead of this magazine’s Building Live conference next month, at which Green (pictured) will be speaking, he said the EFA “expects sometime after Christmas to be starting procurement […] Watch this space.”

Asked whether there would be a third phase of PSBP, Green said “there would have to be something” due to growing demand for school places and deterioration in the existing estate. But he said his preference would be to move to “rolling programmes” of work rather than stop-start phases.

Green said one of the main challenges facing the EFA was “availability of land” – particularly in cities including London – and the client was launching a property company, called Located, charged with finding appropriate sites.

He also said the EFA was keen to use more modular construction, arguing early adopters in this area had already “just about cracked it”. He added: “We’ve got concrete floors, we’ve got schools that don’t look like modular buildings… It’s an area where I think we’re coming on really quickly.”