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Profession to reap benefits of £1 billion school jackpot

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Architects could benefit from a raft of work following the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme’s decision to bankroll 12 school projects across the UK

Clearance has been given for the refurbishment or rebuilding of secondary schools in Brent, Darlington, Devon, Havering, Kingston and Croydon, Lancashire, Norfolk, Plymouth, Sefton, Tameside, Wakefield and Warrington. 

Each of the local authorities will start working on their BSF schemes between January and March 2010. The authorities were approved after a selection process in which they demonstrated they were ‘thoroughly prepared to go ahead with renewal projects’.

In its new capacity as the delivery organisation for all capital investment programmes, Partnerships for Schools (PfS) also confirmed funding for three local authorities to progress their plans for local delivery of the primary capital programme. Hammersmith & Fulham, Leicestershire and Medway have had their Strategy for Change submissions approved, guaranteeing their additional funding for 2010-2011.

The BSF announcement sees up to a further £1 billion of funding committed to UK schools. The 10 local authorities new to BSF will share around £800 million of funding. This will enable them to move forward their first batch of secondary schools to rebuild or refurbish, meaning that local authorities are able to start their BSF schemes earlier than previously thought. Lancashire and Tameside local authorities, already in the programme, can start on the next stage of their projects.

The second half of the BSF programme began in July of this year, with the first group in a series of ‘rolling starts’ for the 70 local authorities yet to join BSF or start follow-on projects, and a schedule for up to 18 projects to begin within the financial year 2009-2010.

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