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Featured Project

Wolverhampton Building Schools for the Future Programme

New schools designed to encourage educational excellence in Wolverhampton
New schools designed to encourage educational excellence in Wolverhampton

LeighFisher and another group company are technical advisers to Wolverhampton City Council on the development and procurement of their Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Programme, from Outline Business Case (OBC) development to contract award and implementation. We provide business case, risk, and procurement advice as well as project management services.

The Wolverhampton BSF Programme will, over multiple phases, replace or refurbish 26 of the City’s secondary schools through a Local Education Partnership (LEP). The procurement of the LEP was based on two mainstream and two special needs schools, co-located on two existing school sites.  Each mainstream school is co-located with a special needs school to provide combined amenities, including community facilities.  One sample site is a new-build Private Finance Initiative project, the other a major refurbishment design-build project.  The Programme will be completed over four subsequent phases, including the creation of two new Academies.

Services provided to date include project management and procurement advice, cost estimating, architectural advice, design brief, output specification and facilities management performance standards, preparation of procurement documents, bid evaluation, and dialog support. We have also supported engagement with schools, including the briefing of school governing bodies on implementation of Facilities Management services during the operational phase of the projects.

LeighFisher has worked with the Council team to ensure that the requirements of the Programme are captured in the project requirements and that bidder proposals meet the Council’s aspiration.

Financial Close was achieved in April 2010, several months earlier than originally planned, concluding the fastest BSF procurement timetable achieved to date.  This was the first step in realising the Programme benefits, which not only secured investment funding for the Programme, but also reduced procurement costs and brought forward the delivery of the planned schemes. 

Since contract award, we have provided advice and support during the development of the LEP proposals for each phase, ensuring that Programme requirements and educational objectives are properly addressed by the proposals and the schemes are delivered as planned.  For each phase, prior to contract award, the LEP’s proposals are subject to adviser scrutiny and are approved by the Programme Board.  Delivery of the schemes in accordance with the contract is demonstrated through Independent Certifier sign-off.

Key Highlights: 
  • Major new schools re-building and refurbishment programme, transforming the educational and life chances of children in the area.
  • We supported the client in delivering to accelerated timeframes as financial close was brought forward.
  • Government expenditure reductions meant that the programme capital budget had to be reduced.  We worked with the client to achieve realistic savings while maintaining the integrity of the programme.
  • During implementation, when there is no competitive tension, we worked with all parties and provided constructive challenge to ensure that the best schemes were delivered within the available budget.
Services Include: 
Client Advisory and Secondment Services
Efficiency and Performance Improvement
Cost Discovery and Benchmarking
Policy Development
Procurement Advice
Business Case Development
Commercial Advice
Risk Assessment
Stakeholder Management