More than £100m in funding to improve dilapidated schools across the region

Twelve schools across the North East will be completely re-built as part of a multimillion improvement programme

Duchess's Community High School in Alnwick
Duchess's Community High School in Alnwick

A dozen schools in some of the worst conditions across the region will be rebuilt as part of a £155m Government-funded scheme.

Miler Construction has been appointed to completely rebuild the 12 dilapidated schools with building work expected to start early next year.

With an estimated build value of more than £100m, the batch - procured as part of the Government’s Priority School Building Programme - consists of six secondary schools and six primary schools in the North East.

The Priority School Building Programme replaced Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme, which was controversially scrapped four years ago by the incoming coalition government.

Miller will be responsible for the design and construction of the new schools as well as maintenance at all 12 buildings over a 25-year period, with an added value of £55m.

Bedlington Community High School
Bedlington Community High School

The programme will provide new, purpose-built schools which will benefit more than 8,350 pupils across the region, as well as providing 188 nursery places.

The secondary schools included in this batch are Bedlingtonshire Community High School, Northumberland; The Duchess’s Community High School, Northumberland, Laurence Jackson School, Redcar; Longbenton Community College, North Tyneside; Hetton School, Sunderland; and Seaham School of Technology, County Durham. The primary schools included are Front Street Primary School, Gateshead; Hylton Castle Primary School, Sunderland; Lingey House Primary School, Gateshead; Mandale Mill Primary School, Stockton; Roman Road Primary School, Gateshead; and Shiney Row Primary School, Sunderland.

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said: “We have appointed Miller Construction to rebuild 12 schools across the north-east – and expect building work to start early next year.

“We have submitted planning applications and are currently finalising the contracts. All the schools are on course to be rebuilt by mid-2016.”

Schools minister David Laws said: “Our aim is that every child will have a good-quality school place in school buildings which are safe and fit for purpose.

Andrew Matthews/PA Wire Schools Minister David Laws
Schools Minister David Laws

Too many schools are in a poor condition, while previous school building programmes targeted funding according to factors such as pupil attainment, rather than the condition of the existing buildings. As a result, many of the most dilapidated schools in the country missed out on funding.

“That is why we launched the Priority School Building Programme, to address need at 261 schools with buildings in the worst condition.”

Chris Webster, chief executive of Miller Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as selected bidder for this batch of schools across the North East.

“In line with our strategy of providing integrated solutions across the full property lifecycle, we will fund, design, build and care for these schools.

“We now look forward to working closely with the schools to finalise the designs so we can start to deliver these class-leading facilities that will benefit staff, pupils and communities for many years to come.”


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