Exclusive: Contractor chosen to build Coventry batch of priority schools


Wates has won the job to build a £36m batch of schools in Coventry under the government’s flagship priority schools programme.

Wates is understood to have secured the contract, valued between £32-36m, which consists of four primaries, one secondary and one special school in Coventry.

The firm beat off competition from Bam Construct for the work.

The news comes after Building revealed yesterday that Sir Robert McAlpine won the £64m batch of schools in the North-east, also beating Bam to the contract.

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 Wates and Sir Robert McAlpine to the first two batches of priority schools.

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 and Wates Construction Ltd has successfully bid for a contract in Coventry.

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’

Wates Construction Ltd has been successful in its bid for the £36 million contract in Coventry. This means that more than 3,675 pupils (including nursery places) in four primaries, one secondary, and one special school will be taught in new buildings. This contract is the first of two batches planned for the Midlands.

The schools, all in Coventry, are:

  • Whitmore Park Primary
  • St Thomas More Catholic Primary
  • Wyken Croft Primary
  • Richard Lee Primary
  • Ernesford Grange Community
  • Alice Stevens Special School

The selected contractors will now work with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and the schools to develop detailed designs and submit planning proposals for each scheme before building work begins in the spring.