Solihull Embarks Upon £100 Million ‘Building Schools for the Future’ Programme

Mark Brain
Faithful+Gould has been appointed as technical adviser to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for the next stage of its £100 million Building Schools for the Future programme

Faithful+Gould’s central Birmingham-based team was instrumental in helping Solihull to become one of 10 local authorities selected from more than 50 across the country to gain funding in the first wave of the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is the Government’s national initiative to lift educational attainment by improving England’s secondary school buildings and facilities. It plans to increase capital spending on secondary schools to £5.1 billion by 2005. Six secondary schools in the north of the Borough are included in Solihull’s BSF Wave 1 programme.

In October 2003 Faithful+Gould managed Solihull’s funding bid submission to the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Its role included assessing the Borough’s existing secondary school stock for sufficiency and suitability, carrying out whole life cost studies and examining options for each of the schools.

Now Faithful+Gould is acting as technical advisers for Solihull for the production of its Outline Business Case for submission later this year. Paul Doherty, director commented, "The Solihull BSF programme calls for rebuilding six secondary schools in the north of the borough to create schools fit for 21st century education. The first project is likely to commence on site in 2006 and it is hoped that all schools will be completed by the end of 2008. The technical adviser role is demanding in that many of the procedural and legislative guidelines are only just being released by the DfES and Partnerships for Schools, and so we have had to draw upon best practice guidelines and previous experience to drive the production of the business case forward."

Faithful+Gould has widespread experience in the delivery of traditional and PFI-funded education projects. In Solihull the company is also providing project management support to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for its Neighbourhood Nurseries and Excellence in the Community initiatives as well as managing a number of capital programmed works.

Written by