foundry demolition paves way for £210m scheme

J Freeley Ltd has completed the demolition of a former foundry in Bolton, Greater Manchester, a key milestone for a £210m mixed-use scheme near the town centre.

The demolition of the 32,000 sq ft building marks the first stage in the development of the 14-acre Church Wharf scheme.

Church Wharf will feature more than 340,000 sq ft of offices, over 230 family town houses and apartments, a cinema, cafés, bars and restaurants, a hotel, shops, pedestrian routes and public spaces.

The building known as The Wharf Foundry, which was constructed in 1873, had lain derelict since the early 1980s and became a target for break-ins and theft. It deteriorated into a dangerous state after parts of the roof collapsed.

J Freeley Ltd liaised closely with the Environment Agency to agree a safe working strategy for dismantling the building, which ran alongside the River Croal. One of the walls was next to a riverside footpath, which was closed to the public during the demolition work.

As well as demolishing the former foundry, J Freeley Ltd removed asbestos from the site, made good retained party walls to adjacent buildings, capped boundary walls, installed new fencing and carried out drainage and tree clearance works.

Voids and pits were backfilled with crushed masonry from the demolition arisings.

Most of the demolition during the 14-week project was carried out mechanically, but Freeley’s operatives were required to carry out sensitive dismantling by hand of partially-collapsed areas near other buildings worked by hand. Work at height was carried out from MEWPs.

The excavators deployed were a Hyundai R220LC-9A, a Komatsu PC210 and a Case CX130. J Freeley Ltd also used a Haulotte HA20PX boom lift. All were fitted with attachments, including shears, munchers and selector grabs, for the demolition work and processing of materials.

During the project, 250 tonnes of cast iron and steel were removed from the site for recycling.

J Freeley Ltd’s managing director John Freeley said: “Our experienced team succeeded in dealing with the challenges of demolishing a substantial, dangerous building, while ensuring that party and boundary walls were left in a safe and stable condition.

“We worked closely with the Environment Agency, as environmental concerns played a big part in the project, which called for sensitive and careful dismantling.

“We are pleased to have played a key role in marking the start of this significant commercial and leisure development in Bolton.”

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