University College School Senior School
It has been widely reported this week that the Government has confirmed the full list of 261 schools that will be rebuilt or revamped under the Priority School Building Programme.
The value of this programme has been set at £2.4 billion and replaces the Building Schools for the Future initiative.
42 schools deemed in the worst condition will commence work immediately at a value of £400 million, funded by capital grants rather than the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme.
Education Secretary, Michael Gove, revealed in a written ministerial statement that 587 schools applied to the programme with the final 261 being successful.
He said “Officials have written to all schools who applied for the programme to confirm whether their application has been successful. Work will begin immediately and the first schools will be open in 2014.
I recognise that many of the schools that applied to the PSBP and have been unsuccessful will also have significant condition needs. Some of those will have their needs addressed through the other funding we have made available for maintenance.”
This is a welcome move say Ventrolla, the sash window renovation experts, who have worked on many education establishments since they formed in 1983, helping to retain original timber windows and maintain established building stock within the education sector.
Ventrolla’s recent education projects include Central Newcastle High School, Sheffield University Sir Frederick Mapping Building, Wolverhampton Grammar School, University College School Senior School (pictured right) and Plymouth High School for Girls, to name a few, whereby Ventrolla were called upon to renovate the timber sash and casement windows in these buildings.
Alan Bell, Sales and Marketing Director for Ventrolla, said “We’ve worked on some fantastic education projects over the years, and hope to be involved in some way in the development of the schools on this list. We have a lot of experience of working with Schools and Universities, and have worked round many timetables and school holidays to be able to play a part in retaining some beautiful buildings.”
Mr Gove went on to explain in his statement that the funding had been found through savings in the department on construction and procurement, saying “This limited capital funding has become available by taking a more disciplined approach to managing my Department’s capital budgets.
Savings have been made by driving down the cost of new schools, shortening procurement times and challenging contractors to look for savings in all areas. These savings mean that more schools will benefit from the programme.
We are determined to reduce the wasteful processes of the past. That is why we have developed new baseline designs which will speed up the process and increase efficiencies and we are reducing the regulations and guidance governing school premises. This will encourage lower-cost build processes to be designed-in from the start.”
Others commenting on the Governments introduction of the programme include Cllr David Simmonds, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, who said “This funding will go some way to addressing the problems facing some of our most dilapidated schools. But we are still in a situation where more than 300 run-down schools have been left in limbo after lengthy delays in government decision making.”
Ventrolla fully supports the iniciative – championing renovation wherever possible in the development of existing buildings, helping to reduce project costs…And if it’s for the benefit of young children in education then even better!
See the full list of schools with funding here - http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/p/priority%20schools%20building%20programme%20list.pdf
Take a look at Ventrolla’s recent case studies here - http://www.ventrolla.co.uk/about/case_studies/
Read more about the Ventrolla sash window renovation service here – http://www.ventrolla.co.uk/services/