The bitter end for Brewery tower
At 8.45pm on Wednesday 9th July, Mansfield's skyline changed forever. Mansfield Brewery's iconic tower was brought crashing down to earth by demolition contractors as plans for a major regeneration of the site moved another significant step forward.
The 100 foot tower had dominated the town's skyline for more than 30 years and was home to the brewhouse of the once-thriving Mansfield Brewery. But, after contractors had wrestled with the structure for a second successive evening, it took just seconds to collapse
The brewery closed in 2001 shortly after being taken over by Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, ending 146 years of brewing in Mansfield. Since then the 6.1 acre site had been beset with problems, including thefts, vandalism and fires.
Mansfield District Council appointed the Cuddy Group to clear the privately-owned town centre site after the Council exercised its powers under the Building Act 1984, relating to dangerous structures.
Demolition work started on 21st April and Cuddy are on schedule to completely clear the site by late August.
The costs of the demolition work and previous improvements to security at the site have been funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda). emda's costs will be reimbursed as part of any future sale of the site.
Administrators KPMG are currently in the process of gaining complete possession of the site after two former owners both went into receivership. Although some ownership issues still need to be resolved, KPMG have co-operated fully to facilitate the security and demolition works.
Meanwhile, Mansfield District Council has adopted interim planning guidance for the site which sets out the council's vision for its redevelopment. The guidance is a vital tool in guiding developers towards the type of development that would be acceptable on the site – in this case a combination of office, leisure, hotel and residential uses.
Coun Kate Allsop, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration at Mansfield District Council was one of scores of local residents who braved the rain to see the demolition taking place. She said: "In many ways it was sad to see such an iconic Mansfield building being demolished but it should also be viewed as a major step towards an exciting future for this important part of Mansfield.
"In its heyday the brewery was a hugely important part of Mansfield, not to mention a major employer in the town but since its closure the site has become a decaying magnet for crime and undesirables.
"Now, as well as making the area safer for local residents, the clearance of the site presents developers with a fantastic opportunity to be part of an exciting regeneration project for Mansfield."