Three practices have been named as the architects chosen for Essex‘s £1bn BSF programme which will see 80 of the UK county’s schools rebuilt or refurbished over the next 15 years.

Nicholas Hare Architects, Bryant Harvey Partnership and Haverstock Associates were the chosen architects for the scheme, which will be led by Swedish contractor Skanksa.

Essex’s contract is one of the £55bn ($85bn) BSF scheme’s biggest, along with Birmingham and Kent.

The first schools in the programme – The Cornelius Vermuyden School and Arts College and the Castle View School will be designed by Nicholas Hare, Pioneer School in Basildon will be designed by Bryant Harvey, and Haverstock will design Columbus School and College in Chelmsford.

An estimated £70m ($108.8m) of work on the first schools in the programme is expected to be complete by January 2012.