Preferred PFI bidder announced for Merton schools’ project

Merton Council’s Schools Reorganisation project has taken a further step forward this week as the Council announce their preferred bidder to carry out Secondary school building works.

At this stage, Merton’s preferred bidder is a consortium called NewSchools, who have a great deal of experience with multi school projects and have been carrying out work on four PFI contracts already.

New Schools will work with the Council and the community Secondary schools in the borough, to put forward proposals to carry out new building work as well as refurbishment and alterations to the schools.

NewSchools has been nominated as Merton’s preferred bidder following a 15 month long selection process. NewSchools could also provide maintenance, cleaning and catering for each of the schools involved if they are nominated as the private sector partner.

Merton is changing from a three tier to a two tier education system and the work which NewSchools could be assigned to carry out would start in March 2002.

Councillor Danny Connellan, Cabinet Member for Schools Reorganisation, said: “We are very pleased to have reached the stage where we can start to negotiate with a preferred bidder. I’m confident that by working together with the headteachers, governing bodies and the preferred bidder, we can seek a way forward to progress the PFI.

“Pupil numbers will be increasing at each of the schools involved and it’s vital we provide the facilities for them. We had many strong bids on the table by quality companies and to get through the first stage of such tough competition shows the potential quality of NewSchools.”