Leicester Council’s New Walk Centre to be demolished on Sunday 22 February
If you’ve been down the bottom of New Walk / King Street recently you will no doubt have noticed that work is well underway to strip the Council’s condemned New Walk Centre offices in preparation for demolition.
It has now been announced that the demolition of the iconic building will now take place on Sunday 22 February at the proposed time of 10am – although the actual time is subject to change.
The building was deemed unsafe in 2010, and council workers have now all moved to different locations throughout the city – most of whom are now working in the refurbished Charles Street building which used to be home to Willie Thornes snooker hall.
The New Walk Centre has been a prominent fixture in Leicester’s skyline for 40 years, so the demolition will understandably attract a lot of attention.
Billy Youngs, of demolition company DSM Demolition, said:
“It’s a big public interest issue in Leicester, it’s not just a major demolition but it’s a major development and we think it needs to be recorded for the people of Leicester. It is a big job. It’s a double blow-down, it’s a city centre job, it’s complicated and it’s probably up in the top ten jobs that I’ve ever done.”
The plan for the demolition is for the building to effectively fall into the underground car park beneath it – limiting any damage to surrounding properties.
Explaining the demolition process in more detail, Billy Youngs said:
“There will be no damage to adjacent properties. Tonnes of concrete will fall into the footprint of the building. We are using a small amount of explosives. Gravity will do most of the job for us. There will be quite a substantial dust cloud but it will be very heavy dust that will settle very quickly.”
Residents and businesses in the area will be taken to the Leicester Tigers ground on Welford Road where they can watch the demolition in safety on big screens.
If you wish to watch the demolition, there will be an exclusion zone of between 150-250 metres from the building – which probably means you won’t be able to get closer than Granby Street or Market Street for a half-decent view.
The demolition has been described as a ‘double blow-down’ or ‘controlled initiated collapse’. To give you an idea of how this might look, DSM Demolition have shared the below videos of a similar demolition they were involved in for Aston University:
New Walk Centre demolition facts
£3.5 million – The total cost of demolishing New Walk Centre
4,000 – The total number of explosive charges that will be used in the demolition
16,000 – Tonnes of concrete that will be brought down
75 – The amount of police officers and DSM security staff guarding the exclusion zone on 22 February
7 – The number of days it will take for DSM engineers to set all of the explosive charges.
8 to 12 seconds – How long it will take the buildings to come down
£20 million – The amount of public liability insurance DSM has to cover any damage