Lend Lease preferred for $2.7B UK schools plan

The company has been selected through its UK public-private partnerships business, Catalyst Lend Lease. Lend Lease said the Birmingham BSF project was part of a UK government initiative to provide a new generation of sustainable secondary schools throughout England, and would be delivered via a 15-year PPP agreement. The project involves the redevelopment of 89 secondary and special needs schools across Birmingham, providing for the educational needs of more than 77,000 students. Lend Lease’s facilities management arm, Vita Lend Lease, will run the schools for 25 years. “This is Britain’s biggest BSF project to date and we want the new schools to play their part in raising the aspirations and educational attainment of Birmingham’s young people for many years to come,” said Lend Lease chief executive Steve McCann. Financial close is expected in May 2009. Phase 1 of the project, which is due to start immediately following financial close, includes the construction of 10 schools and three academies, with the first three schools scheduled to open in 2011.This project builds on Catalyst Lend Lease’s existing PPP pipeline in the UK, which includes the £250 million Lancashire BSF project, now entering it second phase.Lend Lease says it currently has a portfolio of 19 PPP projects in the UK.

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