Demolition work has been completed on the site of The Hill Youth and Community Centre as work on its replacement continues apace.
Contractors AR Demolition completed their work on Friday (August 31), having removed the extensive foundations of the former building and cleared the site.
Cherwell District Council is now examining tender submissions from the companies vying to construct its replacement.
A word of thanks is going out to residents living nearby the site, as the council writes to them this week with an update on the programme of works.
Cllr Lynn Pratt, lead member for estates and the economy, said: “I’m delighted to see the demolition of the old Hill youth centre building completed in timely fashion, as council officers begin evaluating proposals from builders.
“I’m especially grateful to the residents who live next to the site of The Hill for their patience and support while this major work was underway.
“We always rely on local people’s backing when major demolition work is going on and we’re making great progress towards repaying them with a fantastic new centre.
“We’re now realising the benefits of running the tender submission process at the same time as the demolition contract, and expect to be able to announce the appointment of a builder later this month.”
Banbury Labour councillors were delighted to see the progress on the new centre after it was closed for five years since a hole appeared in the roof in 2013.
Cllr Sean Woodcock, leader of the Labour group on Cherwell District Council, saidL “We are all delighted to see progress at long last.
“It really has been an embarrassment to the council that it has taken so long to get to this stage with a building that the council actually owns.
“The council claim there were problems with the tendering process but they were problems of their own making.
“Contrast this delay with their speedy decision to provide a loan facility of £1million to Silverstone Heritage Centre, which is not even in the district.
“Labour councillors will be monitoring the re-build to ensure that there are no further delays to having a fully functioning centre for young people in the Bretch Hill area of Banbury.”
The tender analysis period includes agreeing a timetable of works, and scoring the submissions against criteria laid out in the tender documents.
Richard Dolman and the operations team at AR Demolition added their thanks: “The residents were always our concern on the project at The Hill Youth and Community Centre.
“Access to the site was challenging and parking restrictions also had to be implemented in order to allow us uninterrupted access and egress. We were most grateful to all residents who adhered to this request.
“Due to the nature of the foundations to be removed the noise of the breakers was occasionally an issue.
“The residents were considerate and tolerant on all occasions, enabling the project to progress in an efficient and timely manner.”