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Firms bidding for £1million contract to demolish Blackburn’s old market
10:30am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in News
EIGHT firms have bid for the £1 million contract to demolish Blackburn’s old market hall, in Ainsworth Street.
Borough regeneration boss Dave Harling wants authority to decide who knocks down the buildings given to a small committee of three.
He told a meeting of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive board that he, finance chief Coun Andy Kay, and resources director Denise Park, should make the final choice.
A figure of £1.1million has been earmarked for the job.
Coun Harling has told the borough’s ruling cabinet the fast-track procedure is needed because ‘the making of the decision is urgent and cannot be delayed’.
He said awarding the contract as soon as possible was critical to the programming, financing, and success of a number of major regeneration projects, including Pennine Reach bus transport scheme, and the £28million Cathedral Quarter development.
Coun Harling said: “The demolition of the old Blackburn Market needs to be completed as soon as possible to enable construction of a temporary bus station, subsequent closure of the Boulevard and commencement of works related to the Cathedral Quarter offices and hotel.”
His report said demolition of the market should start on April 10, with the first part completed in time to start building the interim bus station on the north of the site on June 5.
This should allow the August 5 start of clearance of the Boulevard for the Cathedral Quarter development due for completion in 2015.
The second stage of the demolition is due from June 5 to August 7, when work will start on the £5million new bus station, in Ainsworth Street, taking 15 months to construct.
The council has made £2.274million available for demolition and redevelopment of the market, which is currently caught in a dispute between the council, Thwaites brewery and Sainsbury’s.
Coun Harling originally though he had secured the supermarket company to develop a giant store on the site.
But Thwaites announced its own plans for a similar development on its Star brewery following closure of beer-making operations there.
Blackburn with Darwen Council, Thwaites and Sainsbury’s are still locked in talks.