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Education sector welcomes government funding

After a few years of economic uncertainty with the Building for Schools programme ending in 2010, the government is now making plans to reinvest £21bn in schools in England, Wales and Scotland over the life of the next parliament. This welcome news includes enough funding to build over 275,000 new primary places; 245,000 new secondary places; and open 180 free schools; 20 technical colleges and 20 studio schools a year.

As part of this investment, two new schools frameworks and a priority schools funding building programme have recently been announced.

  • The first of these is the Education Funding Agency (EFA) revealing that they have asked 15 firms to bid for its new £4bn schools frameworks.  From this the EFA has said it will select nine contractors for each lot to deliver free schools, academies, university technical colleges, sixth form colleges, further education colleges and other educational facilities.
  • Ten contractors have also been appointed for the £800million school refurbishment framework for public sector procurement consortium LHC. The Schools and Community Buildings (SCB1) framework, valued at up to 800m, was launched on 1st July 2013 and will help public sector bodies procure refurbishment and extension works for schools and community buildings.
  • Finally, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to around 150 schools in its flagship Priority School Building Programme that have yet to have their funding confirmed. Setting out the government’s £100bn infrastructure plan, Treasury secretary Danny Alexander said the government would commit the investment needed to bring forward the around 150 schools left in the Priority School Building Programme – with the programme to be completed by 2017, two years early.

Simon Baugh, Marketing Director at Link 51 said: “This investment in education is welcome news; it will serve to not only hugely benefit schools, but also the construction and building supplies industry over the coming years.”

Link 51 (Storage Products) is the UK’s largest manufacturer and market leader for the supply of shelving, lockers and cupboards to the education sector.

The company was also recently awarded a four-year framework agreement with the Government Procurement Service (GPS) for the supply of shelving and high density storage to the UK public sector.

Simon adds: “The GPS agreement adds further strength to all these investments in education, as it is designed to streamline the procurement process so that the public sector can be assured that they are specifying pre-approved products and services at the best possible rates.”

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