Wednesday, 4 August 2010

DRAPERS' ACADEMY: RATCHETING UP THE TENSION

Anyone eagerly waiting for news as to whether Drapers' Academy new-build (see a lot of posts below) gets the go ahead will, I regret, have to wait a bit longer.

No news today and we have now been told of the fourth postponement of an announcement until 'late on Friday.'

The internet is awash with rumours about Academies that have unofficially been given the go ahead and ones that have been ditched. I treat all such stories with considerable caution. Waiting for any announcement from Michael Gove has brought work to a halt so there is plenty of time for project teams across the country to hatch conspiracy theories of increasing complexity.

On the more prosaic side Kier who are the preferred bidders, with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios as architects, have continued to work 'at risk.' On Monday we had the last meeting to got our case ready for final planning consent by the Havering planners later this month. We also completed the Final Business Case that, if all were going according to plan, would be the last stage in releasing funds and getting the contract signed to start building.

I am most grateful to Kier and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.  Despite the uncertanty and the prospect that if the project does not go ahead they will have to write off around a million pounds, they remain staunchly committed. Such commitment is good for our morale and minimises delay if the project finally gets the go ahead.

I really hope I shall be able to say something more positive about the Academy in my next post.

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