Dyson’s School of Design and Innovation, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, had been banking on funding from the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), but due to lengthy delays and a pending public inquiry, the funding was withdrawn.
Instead, the DIUS decided to back a school supported by Dragons’ Den regular Peter Jones in Buckinghamshire.
The academy had been dogged by heritage opposition, planning delays, and finally a public inquiry after the Environment Agency raised flood-prevention fears.
Dyson had been working on the £56 million project for four years, and his own foundation had ploughed £3.5 million into the project.
‘I’m sad and very disappointed it has had to end this way,’ he said. ‘Engineering is vitally important to this country but it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.’
According to Dyson, he even appealed to the Prime Minister for help during the summer, but with little effect.
He added: ‘We have no choice but to abandon the plans. We now intend to find another way to nurture young engineers – this time on our own terms.’