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The importance of education spending to the construction industry has been highlighted by exclusive new industry analysis from Glenigan that shows the top 20 contractors in the sector have won £2.9 billion-worth of work in the past year.

The research comes as the Department for Education (DfE) prepares to engage with the industry over how work is awarded in the future.

Most of the opportunities from the education sector come from two DfE frameworks, which are coming to an end in the next few years.

The Offsite Schools Framework is expected to produce spending of £3bn but is due to expire in 2024 (Project ID: 18438775). Another agreement known as the Construction Framework 2021 runs until 2025 (Project ID: 20282701).

On Monday June 20, the DfE is holding a market engagement event in Birmingham to seek feedback on how the industry can help deliver a pipeline of work that looks set to provide contractors work for years to come.

Kier top

Kier has built more than £5 billion-worth of education projects over the past decade and won the most work in the 12 months to April 2022.

Education work won by Kier includes a £23 million new school at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire (Project ID: 18225386) and a £25 million new school in Bishops Stortford (Project ID: 14410513).

Liam Cummins, group managing director for Kier Construction said: “As a strategic partner to the DfE, we are extremely proud to have delivered vital projects and facilities over 14 years of working in partnership through its national frameworks.”

Top 20 education contractors - 12 months to April 2022 by value

Contractor Number of Projects Value of Projects (£m)
Kier 45 332
Morgan Sindall 57 301
Royal BAM 11 247
Bowmer & Kirkland 18 244
Sir Robert McAlpine 3 233
John Sisk 1 210
ISG 13 199
Laing O'Rourke 1 175
Tilbury Douglas 6 127
Willmott Dixon 25 115
Galliford Try 12 107
Robertson 14 92
Balfour Beatty 1 90
Bouygues UK 1 87
Wates 8 79
Neilcott Construction 7 65
Ashe 9 54
C Wynne & Sons 6 45
Beard 8 40
McLaughlin & Harvey 1 37

Source: Glenigan

SME Boost

Many of the education projects in the pipeline are smaller in size, which helps small-to-medium sized (SME) contractors win work.

Neilcott Construction from Orpington in Kent has won £65m-worth of education work in the last year including a £17.5m refurbishment of Kingston University’s main building (Project ID: 21486619).

Ashe Group from Hitchin also features amongst the top 20 education contractors with a £54m education order book including a £10m extension to the Andrew Pick Building at Milton Keynes College (Project ID: 21364179).

Swindon contractor Beard has a long-track record in the sector that has produced £40m of education work in the past year including a £12m sixth form centre at Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire (Project ID: 20280266).

Schools boost

The DfE is spending £2.8bn on its Schools Rebuilding programme, which will deliver 500 schemes over the next decade (Project ID: 20264300).

The first 100 schools were identified last year and range from a £17.1m proposal to rebuild King Edmund School at Rochford in Essex, where work is due to start this Autumn (Project ID: 21058049), to a £15m redevelopment of Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School at Wotton-Under-Edge in Gloucestershire that Kier will start work on in July.

Over the next 12 months a further 300 schools will also be identified for inclusion in the programme. However, the DfE has come under pressure in the media over the speed of the rebuild and the Treasury is being asked for more money.

This may result in more projects in the programme coming to market ahead of time and make places on any new frameworks being set up by the DfE all the more lucrative.

Glenigan customers can see details of all education construction work if part of your subscription.

Not a Glenigan customer, but would like to see detailed sales leads for new education construction projects? Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.