Successful BSF programme delivered far more than anticipated
Telford & Wrekin Council’s £200m Building Schools for the Future programme delivered far more than originally anticipated despite a significant mid-project reduction in funding.
With the end of the programme now in sight, the council has achieved the successful delivery of eight new build schools and six remodel/refurbishment schemes.
The council’s cabinet, which meets on Thursday 13 July, is being asked to note the programme’s achievements and agree its formal closure.
The aspiration was for Building Schools for the Future to act as a catalyst for physical and social regeneration across Telford and Wrekin through the creation of a network of high quality learning communities.
The report says: “It has delivered just that by being a major contributory factor to the regeneration of Dawley with the new build Telford Langley School with its iconic sporting facilities located off the main High Street.
“It has also enabled significant commercial development on the former Madeley Court School and sports site and provided a site for Nuplace on the former Woodlands Primary School site.”
A government review in 2010 aimed at ensuring value for money was being achieved through BSF led to many councils losing the entirety of their BSF grant funding.
However, the approach taken by Telford and Wrekin resulted in a savings of £43m by focusing on the Department for Education’s key criteria of pupil places, existing building condition and local priorities.
The council combined BSF grant funding with capital receipts, other grant and partner funding and funding from national sporting governing bodies.
This enabled it to deliver an enhanced programme with the principle of sport and learning communities offering far more than just educational buildings and providing a range of facilities and services for children, young people, parents and the wider community.
Councillor Paul Watling, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Children and Adults Early Help and Support, said: “I am delighted that the BSF programme has delivered an additional four new build schools compared to what was in the original Outline Business Case.
“In addition, Lawley Village Primary Academy was a further new build primary school delivered through the BSF framework Future Schools Agreement.
“We have also successfully co-located Woodlands Primary School on the Abraham Darby Academy site and Grange Park Primary on the Telford Park School site.
“The programme has resulted in outstanding school and community sports and leisure facilities. As part of Telford’s 50th birthday celebrations, we will be producing a colour brochure to celebrate the significant achievements of the Building Schools for the Future programme.”
The report adds that there are still some outstanding tasks but that the majority of these are targeted for completion by the end of August this year.