Construction News

Wed July 08 2020

Related Information

Schools and prisons lead public building programme

29 Jun The British government has decided to revive the school building programme that it stalled during the austerity years.

It has also announced plans to build four new prisons over the next six years.

Schools and prisons form part of the prime minister’s much-heralded attempt to ‘get Britain building’ to lift the economy from the depths to which the lockdown sent it.

The school rebuilding programme will start with 50 projects sharing more than £1bn in funding. Projects will be confirmed in the autumn and construction on the first sites will begin from September 2021, the government said.

Until then, £560m has been allocated to school repairs and upgrades this year and £200m for further education (FE) colleges.

Further details of the 10-year construction programme will be set out by the Treasury at its next spending review.

The £560m for school repairs and upgrades comes on top of over £1.4bn in school condition funding already committed in 2020-21.

Related Information

The £200m for FE colleges this year brings forward plans announced by the chancellor at spring budget this year for £1.5bn of investment over five years to transform the FE college estate.

The prison building plans include a new jail to be built next to HMP Full Sutton in East Yorkshire. The Ministry of Justice is working on finding sites for a further prison in the northwest of England and two in the southeast.

One leading contractor was swift to welcome the news. Steve Beechey, group strategy director and education lead at Wates, said: “We very much welcome today’s announcement from the prime minister regarding the new 10-year school rebuilding programme which will see more than £1 billion in funding pumped into the sector. It is this scale of commitment and focus on the next generation that will make a huge impact in boosting the economy post-Covid, and enable us to deliver much needed investment into local communities across the UK.

“Long-term planning is exactly what is needed to upgrade our schools estate and this decade-long initiative will deliver valuable jobs, educational facilities and community hubs in the areas that need it most.

“We also welcome the government’s commitment to greener, more sustainable buildings delivered using modern methods of construction such as offsite manufacturing, which we provide from our award-winning purpose built facility in the Midlands. To echo Mr Johnson’s words, access to the best possible education is essential to our social infrastructure, in order for young people to grow, thrive and make their own positive impact on the world.”

Got a story? Email news@theconstructionindex.co.uk

MPU

Click here to view more construction news »