Ward Hadaway chosen for £250m schools scheme | 07 June 10

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has been chosen to advise on a £250m schools project.

The firm, which has offices in Newcastle and Leeds, has been picked by Bedford Borough Council to provide full legal services on the authority’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

This will see the creation of seven secondary schools two co-located special schools and a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).

Under the Bedford Schools for the Future project, all upper schools will become secondary schools and will be rebuilt and remodelled to provide state-of-the-art learning facilities to benefit young people, teachers and the local community.

Ward Hadaway fought off stiff competition from some of the country’s biggest law firms to win the contract to advise Bedford Borough Council following a keenly-fought competitive tender process.

Karen Andrews, partner and lead contact for Bedford at Ward Hadaway, said: “This is a further vote of confidence in Ward Hadaway’s ability to deliver high quality, specialised legal services for major projects in the public sector.

“We are looking forward to working closely with our colleagues at Bedford Borough Council and all stakeholders on this project to help transform education for thousands of pupils in the area.”

Ward Hadaway will provide legal advice to the Council at all stages of the programme, including the creation of the Local Education Partnership to deliver the scheme, design and build contracts for the programme and IT provision contracts for the whole secondary schools estate.

Bedford Borough Council is due to submit its plans for approval by the Government by the autumn with the programme hoped to start soon afterwards.

A spokesperson for Bedford Borough Council said: “After many years of talking about the opportunities BSF could bring to Bedford Borough we are delighted to be part of the national BSF Programme.

“We believe the BSF Programme will help deliver improved standards across the Borough and transform teaching and learning in all our secondary schools so that all our young people receive a first class education.”

Ward Hadaway has a long track record of working on BSF projects, including one that has won a national award.

Earlier this year, the Nottingham BSF scheme, on which Ward Hadaway has advised Nottingham City Council, won the Best Education Project award in the Public: Private Finance Awards 2010.

Ward Hadaway was one of only 12 law firms to appear on the first legal panel of Partnership for Schools (PfS), the Government-appointed organisation responsible for delivering the BSF programme nationally, and was reappointed for a further three years last summer.

So far, Ward Hadaway has worked on almost £700m worth of BSF projects across the country.

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