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School projects worth £625 million fast tracked

Eight local authorities are preparing projects worth a total of £625 million after receiving the go ahead to be fast tracked onto the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme this summer.

Enfield, Hounslow, North Tyneside, Rotherham, Southampton, Staffordshire, Walsall and Worcestershire are now developing projects to rebuild and refurbish the five secondary schools in their areas most in need of investment. Remaining secondaries will be reviewed later in the programme.

The HVAC industry is likely to play a massive role in the BSF programme as the Government has set a target of making sure every new school building is zero carbon by 2016

The eight local authorities were fast-tracked after demonstrating to the Department for Children, Schools and Families and its delivery agency Partnerships for Schools (PfS) they were ready to take forward he large-scale investment programmes in their areas.

Tim Byles, Chief Executive of PfS, said: 'Around half of all authorities in England have already embarked on their plans to improve the life chances of young people through safe, inspiring and innovative secondary schools. To keep this momentum in the programme, we are now fast-tracking a number of local authorities that can demonstrate they are ready to join BSF ahead of the original timetable for delivery.

'These eight authorities, drawn from across the country, have already been thinking and planning carefully for their Building Schools for the Future projects and have shown they are ready to hit the ground running.

'With 13 BSF schools now open, research is starting to demonstrate how new and remodelled schools are benefitting students, teachers and local communities. We are therefore delighted to be able to bring forward entry into this once-in-a-lifetime programme for these areas, and hope that the ongoing DCSF consultation will help accelerate the rate in which the remaining authorities join BSF.'