The cost to expand a school has rocketed by £1.8million with high building material prices and labour shortages blamed.

Green Fold Special School in Farnworth delivers teaching for primary pupils with a wide variety of complex educational needs across four sites.

When completed, approved plans will see Green Fold able to accommodate around 46 additional pupil places, and re-provide around 24 places for pupils currently using temporary buildings.

That will mean Green Fold, which has its primary site on Highfield Road, will offer up to 185 places overall.

At a meeting this week, Bolton’s cabinet member for children’s service, Coun Martin Donaghy, will be asked to approve an uplift in the budget for the school expansion from £6.8million to £8.6million.

A council report outlined the need to increase the budget by more than 26 per cent to pay for the project.

It stated primary contractor Seddon had recently market tested costs to find out the budget required to deliver the scheme.

It said: “Additional costs include increased material costs, necessary drainage diversions and structural ground works.

“Despite recent reductions in inflation, construction costs still remain volatile.

“Material costs such as ready-mix concrete, fuel, imported sawn wood, structural steel and copper are maintaining high levels of cost due to availability and demand.”

The report said budgets were also being stretched by energy cost increases, higher delivery charges and labour shortages. The report said the expanded school would better meet the needs of pupils.

It said: “The proposed new buildings and extensions will support the growing pupil numbers for Green Fold accommodated at both school sites and provide further modern accommodation to meet their current and future needs.

“This will ensure that all pupils have access to good teaching accommodation to enable them to thrive and succeed to the best of their ability.”