This week Willmott Dixon launched a fresh assualt on the education market with a new generation of ready-made school designs, promising big savings for councils.
The move anticipates the James Review into school procurement, which is expected to call on cash-strapped local authorities to adopt standard designs rather than costly bespoke options.
A spokesman for Willmott Dixon said: “We are offering councils a lot more cost and programme certainty at a time when funds are scarce.
“To get things underway we have decided to include free desks and chairs in the first package of deals.”
He added: “It is clear this is the way things are going and we are the first to offer a cost-effective standard design for primary schools.”
The basic options rolled out this week cover projects between £2m and £4m, which Willmott Dixon can fast-tack using the Scape National Contractors Framework.
This framework allows councils to procure new build and refurbishment jobs without having to advertise in the Official Journal trimming nine months from lead in times.
Several local authorities are in talks with the builder and the first deals are expected to be signed shortly.
The first primary school design called the Keynes model is the precursor to a line up of standardised offerings up to secondary schools.