Work is expected to start at the end of this month on the demolition of Northwich Memorial Hall – in preparation for its £13.7m leisure complex replacement by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Brockhurst Street, which links Chester Way opposite the police station to the riverside car park, will be closed for about four weeks during the demolition period.
This will be followed by an estimated 16-month construction period of the Memorial Court complex featuring a swimming pool, flume, spa, 80-station gym and dance studio on the site of the hall and former magistrates’ court.
The main contractor for the leisure complex, Wates Construction, has pledged to create apprenticeships as part of its plans to use local building workers wherever possible.
Tony Shenton, Business Unit Director for Wates Construction North West, commented: “The demolition of Northwich Memorial Court marks a huge step forward in the creation of a brand new recreational facility for the town and we are very much looking forward to commencing construction.
“The past few months have been spent in close consultation with the council to ensure that their investment serves to boost the local economy, whilst bringing with it a host of lasting benefits for the community.
“The site team will be hosting a series of Meet the Buyer events to ensure local suppliers and sub-contractors are engaged in the build and we will also be creating a minimum of seven sustainable apprenticeship positions to give local young people a route to careers in construction.”
Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Growth and Innovation, said: “Many people have wonderful memories of concerts and events at the Memorial Hall but the new leisure facilities will be more in keeping with the modern lifestyles of Northwich residents.
“It is pleasing that the contractors for the new complex are providing opportunities for local suppliers, creating apprenticeships for young people and employment for local people.”
The Memorial Hal was built in the 1950s and paid for by public subscription to honour the dead of two world wars. A new commemorative garden and public space is part of the replacement complex and the building will feature public art making reference to the memories residents have of the Memorial Hall.
In its heyday during the 1960s and 70s most of the top pop music performers appeared on the stage there, including The Beatles who 50 years ago in July performed the crowning ceremony of the Northwich Carnival Queen in Verdin Park.