THE cost of building the new Saddleworth School at Diggle has risen to £27 million, the contractors have revealed.

Work will be begin at the site off Huddersfield Road, Diggle on Monday, July 20 with the expectation the school will be finished in February, 2022.

The estimated cost of the build had already risen to £19 million, but now it has risen again.

Interserve Construction have been named the preferred bidder by the Department of Education.

The contract is Interserve Construction’s fourth new school project secured by the company this year after being named preferred bidder for three new schools in the West Midlands.

The existing school has been identified as not fit for purpose. The new school will be designed to accommodate the growing needs of both pupils and the local community and it will be tailored to meeting and exceeding the needs of modern school education provision.

Interserve Construction will be responsible for the construction of the new school offering an additional 150 new school places and when complete. It will accommodate up to 1,500 students aged 11 to 16.

Phil Shaw, regional director at Interserve Construction, said: “Our appointment by the Education & Skills Funding Agency to build the new Saddleworth School further strengthens our position as one of the leading construction companies serving the UK education sector and follows the team’s recent appointment to build the special needs Halcyon Way and Prospect House schools, also in Oldham.”

Earlier this year, governors said in a statement the stability of Saddleworth School lies in the continued support it receives from everyone involved.

“Our school was scheduled for replacement more than 10 years ago with a modern building with top class facilities," it said.

“We have worked hard and planned, had our hopes and dreams dashed, and worked and planned again. It takes no longer than a five-minute stroll around the school to see that the replacement build needs to start now.“