Balfour Beatty and Thomas Vale/Wates JV named as design and build partners for the city's £250m schools programme

Stoke-on-Trent city council has picked a Thomas Vale/Wates joint venture and Balfour Beatty as the design and build partners for its £250m Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

The two have been selected to complete Stoke's secondary estate BSF project, which involves the design and construction of 14 schools at a value of £178m. ICT is being procured separately.

The two have beaten off competition from Carillion and Galliford Try to become partners on the programme, which also includes five new-build academies. Work is due to start in autumn 2010.

Balfour Beatty chief executive Ian Tyler said: “This contract will create training and employment opportunities for both Balfour Beatty in Stoke and our well-established local supply chain.”

Balfour Beatty's new contract win is in addition to the 25-year PPP concession awarded to the firm in October 2000 for the redevelopment of over 100 schools for Stoke city council.

Earlier this week, a group of Stoke councillors complained about handling of public consultation of the city's BSF scheme, which had been much delayed.

Council leaders had approved the programme in July but councillors were said yesterday to have made an eleventh-hour bid for alterations to the scheme.