Headlines: June 8th, 2005

A special event is being staged in Leicester today as representatives from some of Europe’s leading companies visit the city to find out if they can help deliver its vision for education. Architects, financial institutions, ICT providers and building contractors will attend the ‘Building Schools for the Future Bidders’ Day’Leicester City Council is looking for a partner to work with it on the Government-backed scheme, which is a 236 million pound project to transform all the city’s secondary schools over the next eight years.

Companies that are interested in winning the contract will hear from council officers, elected members and local business people as well as from school heads and from secondary school students at today’s event.

City Council Cllr leader Roger Blackmore, said potential partners would be given the simple message that the Building Schools for the Future initiative was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to refurbish, re-model or re-build every secondary school in this city. That, he said, was why it was vital the councils teamed up with the right partner.

Following the Bidders’ Day the authority will draw up a shortlist of companies that will then be invited to design sample schemes. Those schemes will be evaluated and the successful bidder will be named early next year.

Work will begin in the autumn of 2006 at four city schools as phase one of the scheme. Work at the remaining 11 schools will be phased in over the following six years.