Exclusive: Contractor chosen to build North-east batch of priority schools

Priority schools

Sir Robert McAlpine has won the first batch of schools to be awarded through the government’s priority schools programme.

The contractor fought off competition from Bam Construct for the schools in the North-east of England, worth around £64m.

The batch comprises nine schools, including four primary, three secondary and two special schools.

The North-east batch is one of two early batches to come to market through the £400m directly-funded part of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

As Building revealed in November,  Wates and Bam have been invited to tender for the the other £36m batch of schools in Coventry.

The contractors were chosen from the EFA’s contractor’s framework for the North and Midlands region, which includes big names such as Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Vinci, Kier and Willmott Dixon.

Update: The Education Funding Agency has now confirmed the appointment of Sir Robert McAlpine to the batch of priority schools in the North-east.

In a statement the EFA said:

Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd has been successful in its bid for a contract for the first group of schools in the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside.

The North East contract is worth approximately £64 million and it means that nine schools (four primary, three secondary and two special) across Durham, Gateshead, Sheffield, Stockton on Tees, Sunderland and East Riding serving 5,495 pupils will be completely rebuilt or refurbished.

The schools are:

  • Durham Trinity School and Sports College
  • West Cornforth Primary School
  • King James I Academy


  • Hill Top Specialist Arts College


  • Fox Hill Primary School
  • Prince Edward Primary School


  • Ian Ramsey Church of England School


  • Usworth Grange Primary School

East Riding, Yorkshire

  • Goole High School ‘An Academy of Excellence’