THE building of a new primary school in Newbury has now been delayed for the third time, with the opening date now delayed until 2021.

Highwood Copse Primary School was due to open to pupils in September this year. But because of the coronavirus outbreak, building work was suspended on April 3.

Ilain Wolloff, chair of the Academy Trust board, said: “We have already written to parents, and I know this will be more very unwelcome news at this difficult time.

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“It is hugely disappointing for all those who have been working so hard to ensure the opening of a fantastic new school in September, and for all those children and their parents who were looking forward to starting in the first reception class.”

This is the third time the opening of the school has been delayed.

Highwood Copse was originally supposed to open in September 2018, but high increases in building costs led West Berkshire Council to scrap the initial contractors, Kier, and switch to a different company, Dawnus.

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After Dawnus then went into administration in March last year, building work on the school stopped immediately. The council then chose a third contractor, Feltham Construction.

Councillor Dominic Boeck, lead member for education at West Berkshire Council, said: “It is regrettable that the epidemic has changed so many of our plans.

“However, I’m sure everyone will understand that to ensure the safety of all those working on the Highwood Copse build, there is no alternative but to halt the works.

“Sadly, there is no option but to delay the opening of the school, and parents will now be offered places at other local schools.” 

Highwood Copse is being built on the grounds of Newbury College. 

For enquiries regarding admissions, please email or call the Highwood Copse admissions team on 01635 845 000.