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Company building Newbury primary school enters administration

It is not clear if the school will open as scheduled in September

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas


01635 886639

Company building Newbury primary school in administration

THE opening of a new primary school in Newbury has been thrown into doubt after the company building it has entered into administration, it has been confirmed. 

Dawnus started work on the Highwood Copse Primary School in the grounds of Newbury College last August. 

But administration firm Grant Thornton said the company had gone bust on Friday after work was halted on several UK projects. 

No builders were seen on the site off Monks Lane this morning by a reporter from the Newbury Weekly News.

The 210-pupil school, sponsored by Newbury college, was expected to welcome its first intake of pupils this September. 

The roof of the school was nearing completion last month and construction remained on schedule, the school’s website said.

But Highwood Copse Primary School Academy Trust (HCPSAT) and West Berkshire Council have said it is unclear whether any delay to the project will postpone its scheduled opening. 

Dawnus stopped working on the primary school site yesterday (Thursday 14) and the site has since been secured.

A spokesperson from HCPSAT said: “West Berkshire Council are now urgently investigating the options to enable the building works to continue.

“Whilst these options are being explored further, the extent of any delay on the project and consequently the planned opening in September, is not yet known.

“The Academy Trust and West Berkshire Council are continuing to work together ahead of school places being offered in April.”

The trust added that all parents with children due to start at Highwood Copse Primary School in September have been contacted directly by the Academy Trust to inform them of the situation.

The statement added: “Where parents are offered a place at Highwood Copse Primary School, they will also be allocated a place at another local school too.

“This will ensure every child has a place regardless of whether or not Highwood Copse opens this year as planned.”

West Berkshire Council had planned to open the school in September 2018, but later postponed the opening until September 2019 following “high increases” in build costs from its then appointed contractor Kier.

Those wishing to make more enquiries regarding the Highwood Copse Primary School should contact the admissions team on 01635 845000.

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