The unveiling of a Birmingham Brit School of acting will go ahead as planned despite details of the scheme being leaked on a Government website, officials insisted yesterday.
The city council and the Government Office West Midlands refused to comment on the details of the gaffe which saw the flagship project announced via a briefing note said to be written by West Midlands Minister Liam Byrne.
Plans for the school of acting, to be located behind Curzon Street Station on Eastside, were revealed in the note on GOWM's website, even though delicate negotiations are still ongoing. The Birmingham Post also understands the announcement trampled on plans for the Minister for Schools Lord Adonis to launch the Brit School at an event on December 13.
Details of other Birmingham academies would have also been revealed on that day.
A spokeswoman for GOWM said it could not comment as talks were still going on between the city council and the regional development
agency Advantage West Midlands. She said: "The project is still in the development stage. Advantage West Midlands asked Liam Byrne as regional Minister to help influence the out-come where possible. However because it is still in the development stage we are not in a position to speculate further."
The briefing note appeared just over a week ago and outlined AWM's plans to sell the former Parcelforce site in Eastside to the council, which would then use the site to house the Brit School - a new City Academy catering for 950 students aged 14 to 19. Birmingham City University, AWM and the council could then sponsor the project. Details were picked up by the blog www.nunovo.org.uk and spread to other Birmingham websites including The Custard Factory and the Birmingham Conservation Trust.
But, since The Birmingham Post highlighted the slip-up yesterday, all mention of the Brit School has gone from the note. According to a source involved with the project, those working on the plans were cross and disappointed that Mr Byrne had pre-empted the December announcement. Some blamed the leak on a communication problem between the council and the Minister's department.
The city council yesterday stressed the December announcement would still go ahead. In an official statement it said: "Negotiations are ongoing and latest details on the Birmingham Academies programme and an exciting new West Midlands Arts Academy are due to be announced next month."
Another source said it was likely a confidential note had been published in error. He said: "I don't think this was in any way intended to be an announcement. How it got on to the GOWM site is anyone's guess."