A dozen school building projects worth £800 million across England have been given the green light by the government.

The Building Schools for the Future schemes will be a mixture of new build and refurbishment work at a string of schools in England.

The announcement means that 10 local authority areas have been included in BSF for the first time: Brent, Darlington, Devon, Havering, Kingston and Croydon, Norfolk, Plymouth, Sefton, Wakefield and Warrington.

The announcement also includes two councils already in the BSF programme, Lancashire and Tameside.

Work to get the new schemes off the ground will be begin next month with all the projects due to have begun the procurement process by next March.

Tim Byles, the chief executive of BSF delivery body Partnerships for Schools, said: “BSF will also help safeguard tens of thousands of jobs on the ground in the construction and related industries.”

Byles added that 115 BSF schools were due to open in the current financial year with 165 set to open in the following year.

More than 200 are expected to open each year from 2011 onwards.

In addition, three more local authorities – Hammersmith & Fulham, Leicestershire and Medway in Kent – have had funding of up to £200 million for the 2010-11 period confirmed under the primary capital programme.

Last week, Byles said that he wanted the average procurement time of BSF schemes to be slashed from 75 weeks to just one year with local authorities due to appoint 100 design adviser posts to help speed up the process.