Contractor Wates is aiming to expand its PFI team over the next 18 months.
The unit will increase from 16 to about 25 as the firm looks to bid for more schemes, including the government's £60bn programme to revamp every secondary school in the country.

Martin Tidd, managing director of Wate's private sector division, said: "We will grow the team as the business grows. We will bid for one or two of the four pilots for the Building Schools for the Future programme."

Wates recently secured preferred bidder status on a social housing scheme in Reading, Berkshire, worth £130m. This is one of eight pilot projects for PFI housing, all refurbishment. Tidd said Wates was unlikely to bid for another PFI social housing scheme unless they included a new-build element.

He added: "Having learned from that process, we are looking at the third quarter next year when we put in another bid. This is the fourth wave of social housing projects to be launched by the government and we will look in particular at new-build rather than refurbishment."

It is often simpler and cheaper for a contractor to demolish estates and rebuild them rather than maintain crumbling housing stock.

Tidd said that Wates might bid for regeneration PFI schemes if they were introduced to help kickstart the government's housing programme in the South-east. It is likely that this will be the case.