When the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme was launched it was seen as the biggest school building programme since Victorian times, with the Labour government planning to rebuild every secondary school in England.
And for a while I think we were all quite impressed with the accomplishments, with 178 school rebuilds or refurbishments completed by June 2010 and a further 231 projects in construction.
Sadly it wasn’t to be and a change of Government saw the early demise of the programme with over 700 schools left wondering what would happen to their refurbishment plans.
It is at this point that it would be easy to admit defeat, but one thing which we are very good at in this industry is forging ahead when the going gets tough, which is why many people are now working with the schools in question to bring their plans to fruition.
Of the 700 schools who were expecting a refurbishment programme, the need is still there, and as many had put plans for any building work on hold while they waited for the promised funding, there is now a bigger job than ever to take in hand.
There is still a huge amount of work being carried out in schools, and while the grand plans which the Government originally had may have been shelved, refurbishment is still a key part of the education sector as they strive to reduce their energy bills.
Energy saving products are therefore a key part of this refurbishment work, with lighting and heating upgrades very high on the agenda.
So while a number of people see the demise of the Building Schools for the Future programme as another blow to the electrical industry – that may not necessarily be the case. Yes it is true that the Government funding is no longer available, but work still needs to be carried out and you can play a major role in this by advising your customers on the best products to use to ensure this work can be carried out.
See you next month