Dutch builder Royal BAM Groep has been named the preferred bidder for a £60 million project to build seven new schools in Worcestershire.

The work, which is being carried out under the Private Finance Initiative, will include designing and building the schools as well as providing catering, cleaning and security services over a 30-year period.

Work is expected start in December next year at the schools which are expected to provide facilities for 4,000 pupils in the Bromsgrove area.

The work is scheduled to be completed between March 2007 and August 2008.

BAM, the largest Dutch construction group and the fifth biggest in Europe, added that it had won two contracts in Florida worth £110 million.

Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet said it had chosen the Dutch company from a shortlist of three.

Detailed building plans will be submitted and considered this summer 2005, with construction work beginning in winter 2005/06.

The schools involved are South Bromsgrove High (1,290 pupils), North Bromsgrove High (1,150 pupils), while Alvechurch Middle School and Crown Meadow First School will be rebuilt as one.

They also include Parkside Middle and Meadows First, which will be rebuilt together for 780 pupils, and Sidemoor First (300).