Eric Wright takes £180m Blackpool BSF

Aaron Morby 14 years ago

Preston-based Eric Wright Group has beaten rival Morgan Sindall in the race to be selected as preferred bidder for Blackpool’s £180m BSF programme.

Education chiefs launched a race against time to sign contracts as fears grew the new Government’s budget cuts would pull the plug on the programme.

Now, with the preferred bidder for the project in place, bosses say they are “quietly confident” enough has been done to see the scheme rubber stamped by Government.

Over the last three weeks, preferred bidders have been selected for £1.1bn of contracts – including a £231m deal for 14 schools in Derby, £270m for 10 schools in Barking and Dagenham, and a £250m contract to refurbish and build 11 schools in Camden, London.

The Government’s announcement of the outcome of its BSF review, due this week, is believed to have been delayed  by technical hitches and cross departmental disagreements.

Eric Wright Group together with IT partner Northgate Managed Services are understood to be confident they will get the go-ahead to redevelop eight schools in the area.

David Lund, executive director for Children, Adults & Families Department said: “The Eric Wright Group and its partners have convinced us that it has the vision, determination and capacity to work with us to rebuild and refurbish all of our schools in a way that will make a significant difference to teaching, learning and the future prosperity of Blackpool.”

The first schools to be delivered under the BSF programme will be a new build at Highfield Humanities College together with the extensive remodelling of St Mary’s Catholic College.  Work is expected to start this year.

The remaining schools across Blackpool will be delivered over a five-year programme which will see a new build at Palatine Sports College, Beacon High School and Highfurlong Special School as well as remodelled schools at Bispham High School, Collegiate, Montgomery and Park Special School.

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