Demolition of the vacant shops at Crewe’s Royal Arcade site has begun – a significant milestone in the town’s transformation.
As seen in images released by Cheshire East Council today, plant and machinery has now arrived on site to begin the demolition works.
Scaffolding is also being installed around the site’s clock tower to enable it to be safely demolished, with the whole site due to be cleared by spring next year.
Councillor Nick Mannion cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “Pre-demolition works have been taking place over the past few weeks to prepare for the site’s physical demolition, but it is a hugely significant moment to see machinery on site.
“Our vision and that of our partners has always been to give the people and businesses of Crewe a town to be proud of and it is great news that we are now that one step closer to realising its great potential.”
Last month the council announced that a development agreement had been signed for the Royal Arcade scheme, which will include a new bus station with an enclosed passenger waiting area, a 400-space multi-storey car park and leisure, restaurant and retail units –anchored by a new state-of-the-art cinema.
The agreement – which will pave the way for planning applications for the scheme to be submitted – is between the council and its development partner Peveril Securities Ltd, which is managing the demolition works directly.
As part of the redevelopment the site’s clock tower will be demolished and the clock itself dismantled by a specialist team. During the dismantling, the faces, bells and mechanism of the clock will be saved and transferred to the Crewe Heritage Trust, where it will be stored for potential reuse in the future.
To keep people safe while the demolition takes place, hoardings have been put up around the site and will feature designs, imagery and information.
From 5 November, the public will also not be able to access the bus station via the walkway through the Royal Arcade site. Instead, an alternative route is available via Tower Way / Delamere Street.
Cllr Mannion added: “We realise the recent announcement regarding Covid-19 and lockdown has brought further uncertainty.
“However, the redevelopment of the Royal Arcade is an important part of long-term plans for Crewe and work will continue to move forward on this scheme in accordance with Covid-19 safety measures, which are already in place on site.”