Builders miss out on £6bn of school projects

BUILDERS have already lost out on more than £5.7bn worth of work after Britain slashed investment in new schools and Balfour Beatty is most exposed to the cutbacks, Reuters research shows.

A survey of the 26 local authorities worst hit by a decision to freeze the last government’s £55bn Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme, shows contracts for dozens of schools had already been awarded or were close to being signed with preferred bidders.

The scheme was scrapped as the new government seeks to rein in a ballooning deficit, leaving some children stuck in leaky classrooms and disappointing builders and IT firms who had banked on a 20-year programme of investment in schools.

Balfour Beatty is most exposed having been among the contractors to win, be shortlisted for or achieve preferred bidder status on projects worth £1.1bn or about one fifth of the £5.7bn total shown in the Reuters survey.

Laing O’Rourke had been involved in £903m worth of projects either alone or in partnership with other contractors, followed by FTSE 250 maintenance firm Interserve on £718m.