BSF reaches 50th deal

The Building Schools for the Future programme has reached a significant milestone with the 50th deal signed between a local authority and its private sector partner to rebuild and refurbish schools, bringing the total value of contracts signed to over £5 billion.

Hull City Council's BSF scheme is the 50th to reach financial close – the 20th contract signed during this financial year – and also the 30th Local Education Partnership (LEP) to be established with the potential to deliver not just secondary schools but academies, primaries and even wider regeneration projects such as social housing and leisure facilities.

Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, said: "Economic conditions over the past 12 months have provided us with a challenging backdrop for BSF, but we have worked closely and collaboratively with colleagues in the private sector to ensure that we could deal flexibly and nimbly to the prevailing climate. As a result we have reached this important milestone – and outperformed the gloomy predictions of some – by signing 20 deals worth nearly £2.5 billion this financial year already.

"More schools are now under construction the length and breadth of the country. Over 130,000 pupils and 12,000 teachers are already benefitting from BSF investment in almost 150 schools throughout England, and recent deal flow activity will ensure that this number increases rapidly over the coming years with over 200 schools a year due to open from 2011 onwards.”