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Fit-out and M&E problems set back Mowlem's £95m schools PFI project

NEWS

ONE of the schools in Mowlem's disastrous £95 million Exeter PFI deal is expected to be completed a year late.

Mowlem is building five Exeter schools as part of a PFI deal for Devon County Council. Pupils had been due to move into three of the schools this September but the buildings will not be handed over until next month.

Mowlem is unable to give completion dates for the two remaining schools but Steve Maddern, head teacher at West Exe Technology College, which was due to open last month, said in a letter to parents: 'We have been promised a definite date on a fortnightly basis since September but have been told on each occasion that it is not possible to say.

'While the building appears near to completion, we understand that Mowlem is yet to place furniture orders and there is a mismatch between room layouts and the mechanical and electrical provision. I think we may have to wait until next September.' A Mowlem spokesman said: 'We continue to work with Devon County Council to complete the remaining schools as soon as possible.' Sources close to the project have suggested that the delay is down to wrangles with subcontractors and the problems with layout and M&E.

Mowlem declined to give a reason for the delays.