06 February 2024
Wigan Galleries Demolition Programme Completes
Cityheart and demolition contractor BCEGI Construction (UK) have completed the demolition phase of the £135m Wigan Galleries redevelopment programme.
BCEGI, working with specialist demolition contractor Rhodar Industrial Services Limited, were appointed to undertake the first stage of the works and an eighteen-month phased programme of demolition across the 41,000 m sq site began in July 2022 and successfully completed this week.
That work has now concluded on schedule and 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.
Commenting on the landmark milestone for the development 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.”
Commenting on their involvement with the next stage of the Galleries development, Charmaine O’Connor, CEO at P.P. O’Connor, said: “We are pleased to support our long-standing client Cityheart with this major redevelopment project and look forward to helping to deliver the next phase of works.”
Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux MBE, 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.
With a focus on the highest levels of sustainability, materials have been reused to create development platforms for the new buildings and over 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 were appointed by Wigan Council as its strategic development partner for the £135m redevelopment of The Galleries shopping centre 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.