Construction work is scheduled to begin early next year and the new schools will open in September 2021.
Galliford Try has been confirmed as Northumberland County Council’s preferred bidder for the scheme and the authority will be entering into a pre-construction services agreement with them in order to move to the next stages.
Work will see the current Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School co-located on one site, replacing their current ageing and increasingly unsuitable buildings.
The Grade II listed Hydro building will be retained and the new buildings developed to its rear – with the middle school to the south and high school to the north.
Councillor Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council said: “This is another huge milestone in our plans to build two new schools in Hexham, and I am delighted that we can now announce the preferred bidder for the project.”
“The scheme forms part of the council’s largest ever programme of capital investment, where we are spending £589m over the next three years to boost the county’s economy, improve education prospects for all and create new infrastructure for the future.”
Jeremy Barnett, operations director at Galliford Try said: “We are committed to delivering positive, lasting change for the communities we work in, and look forward to working with Northumberland County Council and our local stakeholders to deliver a fantastic new learning environment for the pupils of Hexham Middle School and Queen Elizabeth High School as their preferred partner.”