Eastlands site ready for regeneration

AN £8m project to prepare a huge site next to the City of Manchester Stadium for potential regeneration has just been completed.

Work on the 17-acre site, which contained two disused mine shafts used on the former Bradford Colliery site, has taken six months to complete. It involved capping the kilometre-deep shafts and encasing them in a 2m-thick, 22m-deep reinforced concrete structure.

The project was managed by Turner & Townsend and carried out by remediation specialists Buckingham Group Contracting. Engineers on the project were Arup and the environmental design was carried out by BWB.

Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester, said: “This is a crucial step towards bringing this strategically-important piece of land back into use, which is a key component in our Eastlands regeneration framework. 

“Extensive land preparation work was needed on this site to provide a potential developer with a blank canvass with no restrictions so they can deliver a scheme that will make Eastlands a leading international leisure and sporting destination.

“Now this work is complete, we can hit the ground running when the right scheme is found for the site that has the potential for creating new jobs to the area, and raising the profile of East Manchester nationally and internationally.”

Jack Rowley, regional director at Warrington-based Buckingham Group, said: “Land that has historic mineworking presents a challenge to develop, and with mineshafts the size we have here, it has often limited the future use of the land. 

“We needed to find a solution that would allow unrestricted future development plans to go-ahead without risk.”

“The National Coal Board (NCB) was satisfied that the method we have used is robust enough for any construction to take place over the top of it. You could even build a 30 storey building on top of it now.”

The enabling works were funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Manchester City Council, Northwest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).