Balfour Beatty threatened with fine after children left sat at home as Oldham school remains unfinished

By Andrew Bardsley

A ‘world leading’ construction company are being threatened with a financial penalty on their £53million deal to build an Oldham school after failing to deliver the project on time.

The Roman Catholic school Newman College, on Broadway, Chadderton, was due to open last Friday, but children will have to wait until September 17 to begin their studies as Balfour Beatty have suffered further setbacks.

An Oldham council spokesman claimed they would enforce the terms of their contract, and ensure the company was hit by a fine.

In a letter to parents, the council said: “Despite continued monitoring and intervention, the building contractor, Balfour Beatty Construction, has not been able to meet the agreed completion date.”

Balfour Beatty – who are responsible for huge projects nationwide, including operating the BBC’s new home in MediaCityUK – admitted that delays had affected their working schedule and apologised to parents for their inconvenience.

Marjorie Hooper told MM: “Balfour Beatty sincerely apologises for the inconvenience and disappointment this caused  for Oldham Council, Newman RC’s teachers and students and their parents and guardians.

“The school was handed over successfully on September 6.

“Balfour Beatty continues to work closely with Oldham Council and Newman RC College to provide them with a first class teaching and learning environment.”

Mike McGhee, headteacher at Newman College, said: “The delay in opening our doors was regrettable but it is time to focus on what is going to be a very bright future.”

As children around the country returned to school last week, some parents in Chadderton have been forced to either take time off work, or arrange expensive childcare.

The school will be open to Year 7 and 11 on Monday September 17 and to the rest of the students on Tuesday September 18.

A number of free activities have been organised to cater for affected pupils around Oldham. For further details click here.

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