Priority School Building Programme expected to be announced in the spring
Architects seeking work on the government’s £2 billion schools building programme must pair up with contractors now or risk losing out.
The Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), originally due in December, is expected to be announced this spring following a deluge of applications from schools wishing to be included.
Richard Cottrell, director at Cottrell & Vermeulen, said: “At the moment the major players are aligning themselves up to deliver within the new goalposts set, such as cost parameters. That will be the challenge: to meet the requirements of the new brief.”
It is expected that the government, which is working to replace the scrapped £55 billion Building Schools for the Future programme, will ask for designs to deliver more capacity for schools, whether they are new-builds or refurbishments, under stricter budgets. As with BSF, the PSBP will include tranches of work on schools.
Keith Rayner, director of education at Bam Construction, said that the necessity to win work was “even greater than in previous years”.
He added: “There are a number of architecture practices with the necessary experience [in terms of the work and procurement], and any firm that wants to be involved should speak to contractors now.”
Chris Harding, head of education at BDP, said: “We’re in discussions with various contractors about how we would answer this new challenge.
“Sometimes with the most heavy constraints you get a shift in how you approach things and we might end up with some very creative work.”