20 · Members In Action
EYESORE BREWERY BITES THE DUST
While no self-respecting demolition man would welcome the destruction of a brewery, the long-awaited demolition of the former Mansfield Brewery has brought a smile to the face of locals and at least one contractor.
Mansfield’s biggest eyesore has been wiped out in a £200,000 demolition project by leading UK contractor and NFDC member the Cuddy Group. The former Mansfield Brewery, which produced beer for nearly a century and a half before closing in 2001 has been reduced to rubble in a six month scheme that now paves the way for the district council’s vision of a new 2.4 hectare office, leisure and residential development. The brewery, owned by Mansfield District Council, had been standing empty for nearly seven years since its former owners Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries moved production to the West Midlands. Since then, the site has been targeted by vandals, drug addicts and arsonists. But now, the eight-storey brewery building, bottling plant, office and laboratory buildings, together with the steel flume and brick chimney that have dominated the local skyline have gone forever.
“We moved a 12-man team on site at the end of April and things have gone very well. We were able to bring the project in ahead of schedule as well as to budget,” says Cuddy Group director Paul Geary. “Firstly our dedicated asbestos division removed asbestos from various sections of the site, which is split by the Great Central Ring Road, with residential housing on one side and the police station on the other. We then began to use long reach excavators and 30,
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50 and 70 tonne machines with shears to bring down the buildings, the majority of which were made of steel and brickwork.” The 42 metre high chimney has also been erased. It took just 12 charges and 5.6 kg of explosives to bring down the towering brick edifice. But there were few feelings of nostalgia for the chimney. “Cuddy has done an excellent job bringing the project in on time and to budget and I have to
say I was pleased to see the chimney finally come down. It’s been an eyesore for such a long time,” says Councillor Kate Allsop, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration at Mansfield District Council The principal sign – an iconic piece of brewing heritage – that once lay above the entrance to the main brewhouse has however been salvaged and handed over to Mansfield District Council for display in their museum. “I am delighted that in years to come future generations will be able to visit the museum and learn about Mansfield’s place in brewing history,” Cllr Allsop adds. In keeping with its policy of recycling 95 percent of all materials and arisings, Cuddy retained all steel and wood for reuse on site, crushing brick and concrete with its own crushers for use as backfill. Surplus material has been removed to service other construction projects in the area.
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