Leighton Buzzard school £1.7m over budget after dispute with building contractor

Leighton Middle School
Leighton Middle School

A Leighton Buzzard school’s expansion has gone £1.7m over budget after a dispute with a building contractor.

Leighton Middle School’s tricky finances were discussed during a recent meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council’s executive committee.

In the meeting, it was revealed the current annual forecast for Leighton Middle School is £5.5m – some £1.7m over budget and a pressure on CBC’s basic need grant.

Now, the council has announced its intention to pursue the original contractor to recover its costs.

A CBC spokesman said: “The council has had to take extraordinary action by appointing an alternative contractor to complete works at Leighton Middle School, the cost of which will be sought from the original contractor.

“There will, however, be an element of dispute from the original contractor, therefore we cannot comment further at this time.”

Headteacher Claire Vallance declined to comment on the matter when contacted by the LBO.

According to CBC’s executive report, costs continue to escalate for Leighton Middle School.

The report stated: “The contingency has been spent and continuous budget uplifts are required to cover additional ongoing issues. The final costs are still not agreed with the contractor. The current forecast total project cost is £5.5m, £1.7m over budget and a pressure on the Basic Need Grant.”

The school received an ‘Outstanding’ rating in its Challenge Partner Review in February, and is tipped to achieve the same score at its next Ofsted inspection.