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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 December, 2004, 10:02 GMT
Failed schools deal costs 1.7m
Norfolk County Council has said it faces a 1.7m bill over a failure to renew a private finance deal for modernising its schools.

Some 37 Norfolk schools had been relying on troubled engineering firm Jarvis to carry out the improvements.

But last month the company told the council it could not fulfil the 92m contract and it was axed.

The council said it was meeting with schools and a review of their urgent needs was now under way.

Council must buy designs

The council has been told that designs drawn up by Jarvis for larger scale improvements may have to be bought by the council.

The date for school reorganisation now seems to be 2008 although some schools may go ahead sooner if they are ready.

Jarvis lost the Norfolk schools contract in November this year.

The council said it was unhappy with the uncertainty surrounding the group since it had decided to sell off its bidding arm - which tenders for school construction projects - to the Vinci group.

"We are very disappointed that we are unable to continue with Jarvis and Vinci but in the event they have not been able to provide the necessary assurances we were seeking," Alison King, leader of the council, said at the time.

The contract with Norfolk was part of the UK's Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

Under PFI, businesses are awarded contracts to build and oversee facilities over a thirty-year period, with the public sector paying every year to use them.


SEE ALSO:
Jarvis axed from 92m school deal
08 Nov 04 |  Business
Jarvis to sell PFI bidding unit
13 Oct 04 |  Business
Council cancels Jarvis contract
05 Aug 04 |  England



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