Moment old Avonmouth industrial site blown up in controlled explosion

  • Watch the controlled explosion

A controlled explosion has taken place at an industrial estate on the edge of Bristol as part of a regeneration project.

Severnside's 100-acre Avlon Works site in Avonmouth was blown up at 2.45pm on Thursday 22 July.

The Avlon Works site was in operation for 50 years, from 1969 to 2019.

In 2016, then-owner AstraZeneca sold the site to Avara Pharmaceutical in the hope of securing its future, but Avara fell into administration and put up it back up for sale.

Vancouver-based company Epta Development Corporation (EDC) bought it in December and commissioned Maynards Europe to manage the clearance and repurposing of its assets. 

Now 45 detonators have been attached to 300kg of charge to bring down the main building - a four-storey, 2,500-ton steel-frame structure which covered nearly 1,900 square metres of the site.

Close to 40 people have been working on the project and spent seven months planning the blast operation.

It is part of a wider project to demolish and recover the site in the hope it will be developed into a modern industrial estate.

The UK Managing Director of Maynards Europe, Daniel Gray, said the explosion “will set the seal on what has been one of the most ambitious regeneration projects of recent years".

“When you consider the economic, health and social challenges the country has faced over the past 18 months, this regeneration project provides a beacon of hope and confidence for the region, and so couldn’t be more welcome," he added.