Balfour Beatty has today that it has reached financial close for the £450M Blackburn with Darwen and Bolton Councils Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.
The project involves the delivery of a major capital investment programme over a number of phases comprising the extensive building, remodelling and operation of nine schools in Blackburn with Darwen by 2015 and the building, remodelling and operation of 15 schools, two special educational needs (SEN) schools and seven pupil referral units (PRU’s) in Bolton.
Balfour Beatty chief executive, Ian Tyler said: “We are delighted to have reached financial close on this project. We look forward to utilising our previous experience, having already worked on nine major UK PPP education projects, to create new, first-class, learning environments as well as facilities that will be available to the whole community including leisure, learning, sports and ICT provision.”
Balfour Beatty Education was appointed as preferred bidder for the scheme in October 2009.
Balfour Beatty will invest equity of £2.6M into the 25-year PPP concession for the delivery of the first school, Pleckgate High School, with the potential for a total of up to £20M equity investment in the programme as a whole.
Construction work on Pleckgate High School is due to commence imminently.
All construction and facilities management will be carried out by Balfour Beatty. ICT services across all the schools will be delivered in conjunction with Northgate Managed Services, a leading supplier of ICT services and solutions to the UK education sector.
As part of Balfour Beatty’s commitment to the local community, it has pledged to target between 40% and 60% of employment on the schools’ sites to local people and to engage local businesses as part of the supply chain. Balfour Beatty will also invest in the education and skills base of the local area having launched the Balfour Beatty Education Apprenticeship on this scheme. The project will offer over 25,650 apprenticeship weeks to local residents and employers, in addition to mentoring and work placements, ensuring a lasting skills legacy for the local area.