Construction firms in Gloucestershire have some good news after the site was finally revealed for an £11 million investment in a carbon neutral county school for 600 pupils.
Funding for the project was granted by county councillors on the eve of Christmas, with no news on where the school might be – other than ‘north of Bishop’s Cleeve’.
But the site has now been named and the new primary school will be built on land next to the Old Farmers Arms on Evesham Road.
It will initially open to 60 reception children in 2023/24, eventually teaching 630 pupils.
The project is being championed by the council, which means county building firms within its framework know at least one of them will benefit – and that should be good news for county jobs too.
The council’s current go-to businesses for such projects are Barnwood Construction, Beard Limited, EG Carter, Kier Construction, Snape Construction and Speller Metcalfe.
Cllr Patrick Molyneux, county council cabinet member for economy, education and skills, said: ‘This is a major step forward and represents a big part of our £100 million investment into schools, and into the future of children in our county.’
An estimated 16 per cent of UK construction spend is by the public sector and according to the government nationally, the ‘infrastructure pipeline’ represents more than £600 billion of spend over the next decade, including at least £44 billion for housing.
Mark Pausey, managing director at Kier Regional Building Central, part of the Gloucestershire County Council framework since 2003 and which in that time has delivered nearly 60 projects, said: ‘One hundred per cent of the team working on the framework live in Gloucestershire.
‘During our time on the framework, we have been able to commit an 86 per cent spend to local SMEs, have had a 76p return on social value for every £1 spent.’
Once a firm has been chosen to lead, the project plans are expected to be ready for submission later this year. A competition process to identify an academy sponsor to run the new school is underway.
By Andrew Merrell
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