Skanska has achieved financial close on the first programme under the Government’s Building Schools for the Future initiative, in Bristol.
The partnership (or Local Education Partnership “LEP”) between Bristol City Council, Skanska and Partnerships for Schools provides a platform for developing all medium to large school projects in Bristol during the next ten years. The LEP will be instrumental in supporting the transformation of education in Bristol. The LEP will be staffed and managed by staff seconded in from Skanska and Bristol City Council.
The first phase of the programme comprises the rebuilding of Brislington Enterprise College, Hartcliffe Engineering Community College, Speedwell Technology College and Whitefield Fishponds Community School and covers the development, financing and the operation of these facilities for 25 years following their completion. The programme will also see Skanska integrating the provision of ICT across these sites and the new north Bristol school in Redland. Skanska is working in partnership with a leading ICT provider, Northgate Information Solutions, to develop a managed learning environment.
On the ground, the programme is already underway at Speedwell where piling and foundations works are nearing completion.
The first four schools will be developed via a single PFI project. This initial project will be developed by Skanska along with Investors In The Community and Partnerships for Schools. Skanska will invest GBP 4.8 million (approximately SEK 65 M) through Skanska Infrastructure Development. Investors in the Community and Partnerships for Schools will also be investors. Skanska UK will undertake the design and construction contract, worth approximately GBP 120 million, which will be booked in the second quarter of 2006. Skanska UK will also undertake a full service facilities management contract worth approximately GBP 2.8 million per annum over 25 years. Full services commence in September 2007.
In parallel with the initial project, the LEP will investigate the viability of future projects. These could be implemented as PFI schemes or as conventionally financed design and construct projects.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Bristol City Council in developing this prestigious project,” said Barry White, Director of Education, Skanska. “Having developed the project
over the last 18 months it is now very exciting to be delivering first class schools for Bristol. Setting up the local education partnership provides an opportunity to work very closely with the Authority and stakeholders on future projects. We have reached financial close on this pathfinder project just six months from being appointed preferred bidder which is a great joint achievement for the council and for Skanska.”
Councillor Jos Clark, Bristol City Council's Executive Member for Children and Young People's Services, said: "The partnership and all it brings to Bristol schools demonstrates that Building Schools for the Future is so much more than new buildings. There are so many positive things happening now in Education to bring real and lasting improvement. But this initiative, perhaps more than all the others, feels like the start of something big for the city."