Balfour wins Oldham BSF contract

Michael Hunt

Oldham Council has selected its preferred bidder to deliver its £170m Building Schools for the Future contract.

The council's cabinet formally approved the selection of Balfour Beatty Education on Friday.

Following a dialogue with the local authority, two final bids were submitted in May by Balfour Beatty Education and Equity Solutions, which had Galliford Try on board as its contractor. The council said the contract is worth £170m which excludes the proposed new academies.

These were then evaluated in terms of their partnering, design and technical specifications, ICT, financial, commercial and legal offerings.

Cllr Jack Hulme, cabinet member for children and families, said: "I am delighted to confirm Balfour Beatty as our preferred bidder for the BSF programme.

"It is to the credit of both bidders that they put together strong consortia and took part in what was a very challenging and competitive dialogue with us.

"The BSF programme is currently under review as the new Government examines its spending priorities. Pending any decision on that we are simply continuing to proceed responsibly as a local authority with our plans to ensure that our BSF programme is in an advanced position to potentially secure funding."

Ian Tyler, Balfour Beatty chief executive, added: "We are delighted to have been named as preferred bidder by Oldham Council for their BSF programme.

"We look forward to developing a Local Education Partnership (LEP) with the Council and delivering excellent design and value for the schools and their communities within Oldham's programme."

The council said informal stakeholder and public consultations will now take place in relation to Balfour Beatty's proposed designs for the borough's new Roman Catholic school and the refurbished North Chadderton school, during week commencing 21 June.

The council added that it is anticipated that planning applications would then be submitted in July. Work continues on the detail of the deal between the council and Balfour Beatty with work on the two sites due to commence in January 2011.

Balfour Beatty has also formed a public-private partnership with Blackburn with Darwen and Bolton councils, to deliver the £450m Building Schools for the Future schemes in the areas.

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