The Doncaster Schools PFI project reached financial close today.
Norwest Holst, a subsidiary of Vinci Plc, was appointed preferred bidder on the £45m Doncaster Schools PFI scheme. The project, co-sponsored by Barclays Private Equity, involves the construction and maintenance of two secondary schools, Mexborough and Edlington.
Each of the schools is expected to accommodate around 1,300 pupils. Edlington will specialise in business studies, while Mexborough will concentrate on the sciences. The present schools will be demolished by the winning consortium, with the land used for car parking and access roads. In line with new government stipulations, the maintain and operate concession will run for no more than 25 years.
Barclays Bank is providing the senior financing for this project in the amount of £48.7m. Following legal and financial close, the 19 month construction period for both schools will begin this month, with completion anticipated in November 2008. The schools will be fully operational in the second half of 2008-2009. Norwest Holst overcame intense competition from Yorkshire Education Solutions (Shepherd/ BDP) and Pyramid Group (Interserve) when bidding for this project.
Operis reviewed the financial model and provided tax and accounting advice on behalf of Barclays Bank, Barclays European Infrastructure and Vinci Investments.