Wates Construction is preparing to begin the demolition of Northwich Magistrates Court to make way for the town’s £12.5m entertainment and leisure venue.
The move on site marks a significant step forward in the delivery of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s proposed Memorial Court development.
The enabling works will see Wates Construction secure the site in preparation for demolition, which will begin in March and will take approximately five weeks.
This will include specialist archaeological assessment of the site to conserve any artefacts of heritage interest.
Subject to planning permission, the development will boast state-of-the-art facilities including a swimming pool, gym and a multi-purpose theatre. It will also feature a conference venue, community spaces and a cafe and bar.
Hoardings at the site have been installed and will be decorated by a local artist with the assistance of local school children, linking the site to the “Collect” memory capture project.
The Council-funded development, which is being project managed by the authority’s Capital Delivery Team, is being delivered in partnership with the Weaver Valley Partnership Board.
Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, said: “Work has been ongoing since the beginning of January to undertake the controlled and thorough removal of asbestos from the court building.
“We expect this to be completed by mid-March, allowing demolition to begin. The same process will be carried out on the Memorial Hall building following its closure on 2nd March 2013.
“Subject to planning approval, we are on course for construction to begin later this year and I am sure local people will be following progress closely as we move closer to making this exciting new venue a reality.”
Tony Shenton, Business Unit Director for Wates Construction in the North West, commented: “The work at Northwich Memorial Court is progressing well and we have an excellent site team in place preparing for the start of construction later this year. Throughout the works we intend to keep close consultation with the local community to ensure that the new facility becomes a true asset to the town.