Demolition work will begin on the derelict Central Plaza Hotel in Carlisle next week.
Following the inspection of the building by a specialist demolition expert, Carlisle City Council has confirmed that the crumbling building will start being pulled down on Monday 11 November. Victoria Viaduct will remain closed until the work is complete. It is expected to take between three and four months.
The council have proposed putting together a 'hardship fund' for businesses affected.
The large listed building has been closed to the public since 2004 and has since fallen into disrepair. It has no owner which means it is the council's responsibility for its safety.
There are many significant structural issues that will worsen at an accelerated rate over the winter months. The engineer recommended that we should begin planning for complete demolition. The engineer’s full report has now been received and the final enabling works are underway. Protective hoarding has been installed and will continue to be installed this week in readiness for the start of the demolition works."
In a statement, the Council said:
“Penetrating ground radar has also been carried out of West Walls including three-point Cloud Surveys of West Walls and the Medieval Vaults.
“The work is set to start on site next week (Monday 11 November). This is likely to take between three and four months but will be completed as quickly and safely as possible. Contractors will continue to work over the Christmas period.
“The total cost of the demolition works is £1.35 million, which includes the enabling works detailed above and professional fees. Local contractors and engineers will undertake the work.
“We have a duty to ensure that the property does not cause an immediate danger to persons in and around the building.
“The listed building has no owner (the building is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate). We would normally pursue the owner to deal with any danger, but this is not possible in this instance.
“In the interest of public safety, road closures continue to be in place. The closures and diversions have been put in place by Cumbria County Council’s highways team. If you have any highway enquiries and queries regarding the diversions, please contact Cumbria County Council Highway’s Hotline on 0300 303 2992 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“The site continues to be secure and 24-hour security is in place with CCTV monitoring in place to prevent unauthorised access behind the debris field.
“We continue to support businesses and are proposing to put in place a hardship fund for businesses directly affected. We have also set-up a hotline which will enable those businesses affected to have direct access to the support team. The number is 01228 817444 or email EDAdmin@carlisle.gov.uk."