Chichester Free School has decided to rebid plans to convert a disused convent into a new permanent school site. The former convent was damaged after a fire in 2009 and has remained empty since.

Willmott Dixon was selected from the Education Funding Agency’s framework to deliver the job last year with work due to start in the New Year.

But the contractor has failed to agree a final price and now the free school has decided to put the job out to tender again expecting it to come in it at around £21m.

The school opened in its temporary base at the Vinnetrow Business Park in September, 2013, and hoped to move into its permanent home in September, 2017. The plans reveal a lot of the original convent structure will be retained for offices and to build an eastern extension for primary pupils and a western extension for secondary and sixth-form students.

Turner & Townsend is project managing the new competitive tender race aiming to come up with a shortlist of firms to invite tenders by the end of January.