Demolition programme completes on £135m Wigan Galleries redevelopment

Pic: MM Management

The demolition phase of the £135m Wigan Galleries redevelopment has completed.

Cityheart and its demolition contractor, BCEGI Construction (UK, working with specialist demolition contractor Rhodar Industrial Services, began an 18-month phased programme of demolition across the 41,000 sq ft site in July last year.

Specialist groundwork contractor, P.P. O’Connor, has been appointed to undertake the next phase of ground enabling works, ahead of a main contractor for the development of phase one being appointed in the coming weeks.

P.P O’Conner has made an immediate start on site and will be undertaking archaeology and site investigation works in the coming weeks.

Warren Taylor, Chief Operating Officer of Cityheart, said: “BCEGI has undertaken an extensive programme of very complex and carefully sequenced site remediation and demolition works which has progressed at pace over the last year and a half.

“Managing and maintaining the programme over such a complex space is testament to the fantastic work BCEGI and Rhodar have delivered in clearing and leveling this complex site, paving the way for the first phase of construction work which will commence in the coming months.”

Leader of Wigan Council, Cllr David Molyneux, said: “We’re really pleased with the progress of the former Galleries scheme so far and look forward to working with P.P. O’Connor on this important next phase.

“A key priority for us on this project is to ensure maximum return on our investment by securing opportunities for local skills and employment and I’m pleased local residents are already reaping those benefits.”

During the demolition phase Rhodar employed a variety of techniques including large scale mechanical machinery and hand demolition to protect the adjacent Grade II-listed structures.

Up to 50 operatives have been working on the demolition phase, including two of Rhodar’s youngest employees, as part of their apprenticeships. Rhodar has also been working with local church groups, charities and youth organisations as well as offering local employment opportunities for site and office staff.

More than 10,000 roof slates have been reclaimed for re-use, together with 1,000 tonnes of mixed metals, 60,000 tonnes of bricks and concreate hard core for re-use.

Cityheart was appointed by Wigan Council as its strategic development partner in June 2021. Since the Development Agreement was signed a hybrid planning consent for the full site has been secured.

The first phase of the development is set to start this year and will deliver a new market hall and food court, a new 144-bedroom hotel and the basement and associated infrastructure. This initial phase will be closely followed with the commencement of construction for the Pavilion building and the Cinema and Leisure space.

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