REMEDIATION work on a 17 acre plot next to the City of Manchester stadium has been completed.
Two disused mine shafts from the former Bradford colliery, each nearly a kilometre deep, have been capped off to allow building over the top of them, which forms part of the club’s future development plans.
The shaft is encased in a 2 metre thick, 22 metre deep, reinforced concrete structure is shaped like an upside-down cup and the land is now strong enough to take a 30-storey building.
The £8m project, which started last September, was managed by Turner and Townsend and undertaken by remediation specialists Buckingham Group Contracting and follows extensive site investigations. The engineers were Arup and the environmental design team was BWB.
Funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Manchester City Council, the Northwest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the scheme will make the land, which formed part of the site proposed for the regional casino, ready for future development.
Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester, who will move to the stadium next month to oversee the work of the joint venture between the club, the council and NEM, said: “This is a crucial step towards bringing this strategically important piece of land back into use, which is a key component in our Eastlands regeneration framework.
“Extensive land preparation work was needed on this site to provide a potential developer with a blank canvas with no restrictions so they can deliver a scheme that will make Eastlands a leading international leisure and sporting destination.
“Now this work is complete we can hit the ground running when the right scheme is found for the site that has the potential for creating new jobs to the area, and raising the profile of East Manchester nationally and internationally.”
Jack Rowley, regional director at Warrington-based Buckingham Group, said: “Land that has historic mineworking presents a challenge to develop, and with mineshafts the size we have here, it has often limited the future use of the land.
“We needed to find a solution that would allow unrestricted future development plans to go-head without risk. The National Coal Board (NCB) was satisfied that the method we have used is robust enough for any construction to take place over the top of it. You could even build a 30 storey building on top of it now.
“This is the first time this kind of work has been done in the UK, and as far as we’re aware, anywhere in the world.”
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