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Local firms “interested” in school project

Created on 10/04/2019 @ 11:10
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Local building firms have expressed an interested in taking on the unfinished primary school project (pictured), which ground to a sudden halt last month following the demise of construction giants Dawnus.

Powys County Council confirmed that local builders and contractors could be given the work for that, and two other school projects, but have given no confirmation of when the school could be completed despite originally committing to a September opening date.

The three projects left in the lurch by Dawnus are the 360-pupil English-medium primary school on Salop Road, converting the Grade II listed Maesydre school building into a 150-pupil Welsh-medium primary school (below, right) and a new school building for all through four to 18 school Ysgol Bro Hyddgen in Machynlleth. The latter two are still at the planning stage.

A spokesman for PCC said: “The council’s priority is to appoint a main contractor to complete the scheme and to make sure that Powys-based contractors are involved.

It has also taken immediate action to make sure the building is weather-proof by appointing a roofing contractor.

“A number of Powys-based contractors have expressed an interest in taking over the main contracts and the council is carrying out financial and commercial assessments of all those who have expressed an interest. Time-scales for completion will not be known until a main contractor has been appointed.”

Plaid Cymru group leader, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, vice-chairman of the Bro Hyddgen school governors in Machynlleth, has asked the cabinet to brief councillors at the next Full Council meeting, which takes place on Friday, May 3.

Cllr Vaughan said: “In view of the recent demise of Dawnus, it may be an idea to brief members again on the current situation regarding the company and the effect on Powys.

“I’m aware of obvious delays in Machynlleth for instance the effect on projects, timetables, financial, liabilities and if any monies were paid up front.”

Administrators from accountants Grant Thornton, have taken over Dawnus and have spoken with PCC.

They said that the Dawnus Group had struggled with a wide variety of challenges and despite significant efforts to turn the business around, it was not possible to rescue the group.

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

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