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Cornerstone to manage £22m Enfield school building programme

18 Oct 12 Enfield Council has selected Cornerstone Property Assets as its delivery partner for a £22m building programme " if it goes ahead.

Cornerstone chief exec Tim Byles
Cornerstone chief exec Tim Byles

Cornerstone was set up in June 2011 as a social investment mutual company by former Partnerships for Schools CEO and career local government officer Tim Byles.

Plans have still to be ratified, but Cornerstone intends to work in Enfield with Scape framework contractors Kier and Willmott Dixon and architects Surface to Air to expand 11 primary schools in the borough, creating 2,400 new places.

A public consultation was launched by Enfield Council on 26 September on the plans. If the plans get the go ahead, work will begin next spring to ensure the new places are available for the start of the 2013 school year in September.

The schools being considered for expansion include: Broomfield School, Edmonton County School, Garfield, George Spicer, Grange Park, Highfield, Houndsfield, Oakthorpe, Prince of Wales, Walker and Worcesters primary schools.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Ayfer Orhan, said: "We are running out of primary school places and we have a duty to provide our pupils with a high quality education in safe, secure and good facilities. This £22m project will provide hundreds of extra primary school places in the areas they are most needed and improve our educational facilities ahead of the 2013 school year.

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"Although nothing has yet been decided we have taken the rational step of appointing a development partner at this early stage to minimise delays to this project. Should we proceed with this major project I look forward to working with Cornerstone to provide the primary school places we so desperately need in Enfield.”

Kier Construction director Michael Edwards said that his company plans to work closely with modular building specialist Yorkon on six of the schools.

Enfield Council plans to fund the programme through Basic Need Funding, which will be supplemented by a land sale to Cornerstone of a transport depot in Melling Drive, Enfield that is due to be decommissioned. The sale is part of a previously planned rationalisation of transport assets. Subject to planning permission, this site will be developed for residential use.

Tim Byles said: “The shortage of school places is an issue that is being felt across the country, and a subject that is exercising both council committee rooms and family breakfast tables alike. The challenge is particularly acute in the Capital, where London Councils have recently estimated a black hole of 90,000 primary and secondary school places by 2016. 

“Enfield is taking a highly innovative approach to addressing their shortfall, and subject to the consultation, we very much look forward to working with them to create the additional places in safe, secure facilities in time for the new school year in 2013.”

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