Huge Preston office block to be flattened

Demolition of a five-storey office block in Preston is scheduled to start at the beginning of August.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 4:55 am

Contractors will dismantle the Barry House building in London Road in three stages, with the work expected to take six weeks.

The former Department of Work and Pensions block, which has been empty for some time, is being knocked down to make way for a new specialist maths school.

A report to the city council says the building, which was constructed in the 1970's, is “modest in terms of architectural merit and contributes little towards the visual amenity of the area.”

Barry House is set to be demolished.

It goes on: “The vacant office building needs to be demolished to make room for a new four-storey education building.

"Feasibility studies have established that the Barry House building is unsuitable for adaptation/refurbishment.”

The new school is to be built by the Rigby Education Trust, set up as a joint venture between Cardinal Newman College and Lancaster University.

The new £8m building will house a state-of-the-art A-Level college for some of the most promising young mathematicians in Lancashire. The county will be only the fourth area on the country to have such a facility.

The office block will take up to six weeks to flatten.

Cardinal Newman principal Nick Burnham says that such “maths communities” are already thriving at the three other specialist colleges that are up and running elsewhere.

“The school will appeal to a certain type of mathematician who lives and breathes maths and seeks out other mathematicians so that they can spend their day just talking about the subject," he explained. “These will be classes of very bright students."

Demolition contractors will dismantle the office block piece by piece, starting with the middle third, then the section nearest to Primrose Hill and finally the end closest to the Olive School next door.

Around 1,000 tonnes of concrete will be taken away, crushed up and recycled to be used to level the site before building begins.