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Construction firms cash in on education contracts.

Byline: Vandna Synghal Special Correspondent

Solihull construction specialist, Benson is modernising parts of South East Derbyshire College in time for the Disability Discrimination Act deadline next year.

Benson has been awarded a pounds 560,000 contract for ground and first floor extensions to the Field Road campus.

A new reception area, disabled access and new service road to the college will be constructed over 20 weeks.

Benson has spent four years in the Midlands region working on other education buildings including City College, Aston University, Birmingham University, Josiah Mason College and the Pershore High School in Worcestershire.

Dr Mark Flynn, deputy principal and director of finance of the South East Derbyshire College, said: 'This latest project constructed by Benson brings together work that has been ongoing to update the site from a 1950s technical college to a centre of excellence to meet the needs of business and learners in the twenty first century.'

Meanwhile, Pettifer Construction from Warwickshire has been awarded contracts for two Buckinghamshire schools.

The construction schemes bring the total value of their work done in Buckinghamshire to more than pounds 6 million.

The 24 week project at Highcrest Community School in High Wycombe will see a new single storey sports hall, changing rooms and youth centre constructed.

The Grange School in Aylesbury will have classroom extensions, additional storeys and new roofing put in by spring next year.

Tony Welch, principal surveyor at Buckinghamshire County Council, which is funding the projects, said: 'Pettifer has built a strong reputation in the area for completing quality work ahead of schedule, having worked with us previously on Buckingham and Heritage House Schools.'

In Wolverhampton, building contractor Interclass is planning to do work worth pounds 5 million.

'The contracts are spread through out our operating area from Staffordshire in the north to Gloucestershire in the south,' said business development director Don Ward.

In Tamworth, Interclass has secured a pounds 1.1 million contract at Two Gates Community Primary School. It will also do work on Sure Start Nursery in Tividale. New orders include pounds 1.8 million worth of work on Forest of Dean housing in Gloucestershire.

In that contract Interclass will not only be refurbishing some properties but will also be carrying out kitchen and bathroom replacements in others.

'2003 has been a busy year for Interclass, and it looks as though we are set for another good year in 2004,' said Mr Ward.

Kendrick Construction Group, which is currently undertaking the pounds 6 million Market Square redevelopment in Wolverhampton, has secured a further pounds 11 million of new contracts.

These include work at St Edmund Campion School, Erdington, Birmingham, for the Diocesan Schools Committee.


Richard Madeley (left), Benson business development manager and Robert Bacon, estates manager at South East Derbyshire College
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 30, 2003
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