Downing Street has denied claims that Sir James Dyson has been blocked by officials from donating £6 million to a primary school in Malmesbury.

The billionaire businessman said he had been trying give a grant to the Malmesbury C of E school through his charitable foundation to help with the building of its new science and technology centre and expansion by 210 places.

“But the local authority and Department for Education say no, citing the risk of other schools having insufficient numbers,” Sir James wrote in a letter to The Times.

Asked why the Government was stopping the new science and technology centre from being built, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters on Monday: “That’s not an accurate characterisation.

“There is a formal process that rightly needs to be followed, a decision hasn’t been made. Certainly we are extremely grateful for Sir James Dyson’s generosity.

“We’ve been dealing with that request to expand the school as quickly as possible since it was submitted over the summer.”

Sir James described it as “a tragic example of how politicians’ actions fail to match their rhetoric” in wanting to turn the UK into a science and technology superpower.

“If the government is serious about being a science superpower and levelling up, then I implore the education secretary to intervene and give parents what they want — and the country the sort of investment that will help deliver the superpower status the government says it craves,” he said.

An agreement between Wiltshire Council and local developer Persimmon Homes suggests that the school needs to build additional classrooms to accommodate more pupils, as well as the new science and technology centre in order to use the land allocated for its expansion, it is understood.

Sir James wrote: “Land is available at no cost and 94 per cent of local people support the scheme but the local authority and Department for Education say no, citing the risk of other schools having insufficient numbers.

“They would rather hundreds of Malmesbury’s children commute unsustainably, by bus, to outlying village schools and deny parents the choice to send their children to this outstanding local school.”

It is not the first time the founder and chief engineer of Singapore-headquartered multinational technology company Dyson has criticised the Government.

Sir James previously claimed Rishi Sunak’s pledge to make the UK a science and technology superpower was a “mere political slogan” and accused ministers of a “short-sighted” approach to business.

Mr Sunak’s ambition of turning the UK into a science superpower post Brexit has been central to his premiership, with the Prime Minister creating a new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.