RM is to squeeze at least another £4m out of the doomed Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme after extending an agreement with Southwark Council.
In May last year, RM, the council, BSF Investments and construction services giant Balfour Beatty formed the 4 Futures partnership to deliver and manage BSF projects across the London borough. RM has now signed a contract covering Phase 2a of the programme, which will see projects undertaken at four schools.
The projects are just a few of the many that had been left up in the air by the government's decision to axe the BSF scheme. The signing of the contract means the deals have now reached "financial close", guaranteeing RM revenue of about £4m.
But the Oxfordshire-based education specialist could still see more than £300m wiped off potential BSF contract values of £586m, according to estimates from analyst TechMarketView. The publicly listed firm recently issued a statement to the markets revealing the BSF closure will cost it £1.5m in exceptional costs during the second half of the year.
But Terry Sweeney, chief executive of RM, claimed the Southwark green light was a welcome piece of good news.
"I am delighted that financial close has been achieved on Phase 2a of the Southwark BSF scheme," he said. "It is great news that we will be able to continue to work with Southwark's schools and that their pupils will continue to receive access to innovative and engaging ICT.
"This is one of the first contracts to close since the Department for Education's decision to revise the scope of the BSF programme. Whilst we are in this climate of review, the good news is that we continue to see notable successes with projects such as Southwark"
Catherine McDonald, cabinet member for children's services at Southwark Council, added: "This is excellent news for our borough's pupils and staff. Investment in these schools will offer students fantastic IT opportunities. Pupils will have the latest technology and computers on hand, which will go a long way to help them in many aspects of their coursework and future studies too."
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