Contractor beats Sir Robert McAlpine to scheme that is trial for fast track procurement

Wates has been appointed preferred bidder on the £10.5m contract to rebuild Campsmount Technology college in Doncaster, the first scheme to trial fast track schools procurement methods being worked up by the government.

Wates has beaten off Sir Robert McAlpine, the other shortlisted bidder, to the win, which is being used as a pilot to test changes to schools procurement identified by the current Sebastian James review into school building. The first phase of procurement has been completed in half the normal time.

Campsmount Technology College was ravaged by fire in December last year after an electrical fault, leaving students in temporary accommodation. It was not on the government’s original list of school schemes given the go-ahead, published in July, but was told in September that it would be allowed to progress as a test case for other projects.

The scheme was opened up to contractors on the academies framework to bid, suggesting that the framework could play a major part in future schools work. Ten firms expressed an interest in the scheme.

A detailed planning application is due to be submitted in December and, subject to planning approval and the signing of contracts with Wates, the 12 month build programme is expected to start in February 2011.

Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “To get to this stage so quickly is testament to the work undertaken by the council’s school rebuilding team and the school. The Government gave us the opportunity to show how effective we can be in delivering significant projects in a much reduced time frame and I am delighted we are right on track.”