In mid December 2009, the Bridgwater BSF Programme, which is the first part of the Somerset BSF Programme, reached Final Bid Submission.
The Somerset BSF Programme will span the whole of the county of Somerset, located in South West England, and will start with Bridgwater, the county’s largest town. Four secondary and two special provision schools are going to be completely rebuilt on existing and new sites. They are Elmwood, Robert Blake Science College, Penrose, Haygrove, Chilton Trinity Technology College and East Bridgwater Community School.
Two bidders were invited to submit final tenders by Somerset City Council. They were BAM PPP UK consortium and Aura Learning Communities, a consortium, led by Sir Robert McAlpine. The preferred bidder will be announced in February 2010. Building work for the schools is expected to begin in June 2010 and be completed in autumn 2012.
The selected bidder will become the main contractor and help develop the entire Bridgwater & Somerset BSF programme throughout Somerset. Funding for the county as a whole is over £450 million. Of this, 50% will be to completely rebuild schools, 35% to remodel using existing school buildings and 15% to refurbish.
Operis was engaged by the Aura consortium, and reviewed their bid model, including a tax and accounting review, and provided a Letter of Comfort to Aura and the senior lenders.