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Galliford Try seals £186m school deals

11 Mar 15 Galliford Try has reached financial close on two school building contracts worth a combined £186m.

Galliford Try will build the Holywell Learning Campus in Flintshire
Galliford Try will build the Holywell Learning Campus in Flintshire

Galliford Try has reached financial close with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) on the priority school building programme (PSBP) batch for Northeast England.

The company has also closed its deal with Flintshire Council for the Holywell Learning Campus in North Wales.

The £160m PSBP contract is the country’s first to close that is funded by the government's new PF2 private finance aggregator model. The aggregator is financed by the Amber Consortium, which includes International Public Partnerships and Aviva Investors, with European Investment Bank also providing senior debt.

The construction contract is worth more than £103m, with a further £56.6m coming through a 25-year maintenance contract for Galliford Try's Facilities Management business. A total of six new secondary schools will be constructed along with six primary schools. Galliford Try Investments plans to retain an equity stake in the project.

The contract signed with Flintshire Council is for construction of the Holywell Learning Campus in North Wales, as part of the Welsh government's 21st Century Schools programme.

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This £26m project was procured by through the North Wales Schools & Public Buildings Contractor Framework.

Galliford Try will build a single storey primary school, to replace the existing Ysgol Perth y Terfyn Infants School and Ysgol y Fron Junior School, and a three-storey secondary school to replace the existing Holywell High School on the site. The new Holywell schools are scheduled to be open from September 2016 with the existing facilities remaining in use until then.

Miller Construction was selected for the contract in June 2014 (see previous report here) but was then taken over by Galliford Try the following month. When Miller Construction was selected, the contract value was given as £30m. With contract value now given as £26m, it appears that £4m, or 13%, of costs have been shaved since that time.

Galliford Try executive chairman Greg Fitzgerald described both contracts as significant. He said: "Our ability to conclude the contract with the EFA successfully demonstrates the strength of our Investments business in offering innovative solutions to unlock projects, while the Holywell contract is proof of our excellent construction offering in education and our growing prominence in the North Wales market."

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