Work to revive Grade II listed building on High Street, Wisbech, set to finish on time
- Credit: Harry Rutter / ARCHANT
Work to partially demolish a derelict building in Wisbech to save it from collapse is getting underway.
Fenland District Council decided to take urgent action to remove part of the building on 11-12 High Street this week after the results of structural surveys found it was at risk of further dilapidation.
The work, being carried out by Humphrey Contracting Ltd, is part of the council's £1.9m Heritage Lottery-funded Wisbech High Street Project to save the Grade II listed building.
Currently, the work is expected to be completed within the next few days and is running to plan, which aims to restore one of the town's buildings to its former glory.
Dan Humphrey, plant manager at Humphrey Contracting Ltd., said: "The works are progressing well and we've got a five-day schedule, which at the moment, is on time.
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"We're looking at perhaps overrunning depending on the state of the front wall.
"It's been busy for us, and today is market day, which has made it more difficult.
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"People are getting round, diversions are not ideal but that's the only chance of getting people in and out the town, so it's going smoothly."
The council previously said investigations had revealed that two unsupported walls behind the façade were structurally unsafe, and that appropriate action must be taken to ensure public safety.
Approximately 10 to 12 flats and two commercial units are believed to be implemented, as plans were drawn up with a developer to regenerate the site.
The council purchased the high street building last year from its previous owner, whereby subsequent surveys confirmed that remedial work should be undertaken without delay to mitigate any risks.
"The main demolition of the store front and anything left at the rear is not scheduled for about another six weeks," Humphrey added.
"The long-term benefit is that the town will regain a couple of shops it had at the bottom and some more living accommodation above.
"We're going to try as hard as we can and salvage as much material out of this front façade so they can put it back to how it's always looked."
The council also plan to begin on The Gap project in the near future.