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Gloucestershire Business News

Demolition contract for Forest of Dean project goes out of county

Forest of Dean District Council faces criticism after it chose a West Midlands firm to carry out demolition work at its Five Acres site.

The redevelopment of the site at Berry Hill is part of a wider £20 million Levelling Up project but instead of creating business for local contractors, the work is going to the Armac Group based in Meriden between Coventry and Birmingham.

The company carries out major demolition projects across the country.

Cllr Paul Hiett, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for communities, said: "Armac Group were chosen as the demolition contractor as they are vastly experienced in their field and will be working with residents and Five Acres High School to minimise any disruption."

The demolition works will begin with internal stripping of the current buildings that are in a state of disrepair, before removal of those buildings and clearance of the site. As demolition of the buildings is internal to the site at Five Acres, no disruption to the local area is expected.

Ross MacCormack, Contract Support Manager at Armac Group, said: "It is our intention to undertake our operations with as minimal disruption as possible and members of staff from Armac Group will be on site to assist with any concerns.

"We'll be working closely with Five Acres High School to minimise noise and dust producing activities during busy periods and ensure that dust suppression units are in place to minimise nuisance.

"We undertake daily dust and noise monitoring as a further method of ensuring that we are being a responsible neighbour."

The project aims are to improve leisure facilities in the district, bring in new jobs and regenerate community spaces. Work will start on Monday 17th January.

Initial plans include the regeneration of the existing Speedwell Building to provide new community space, along with new business space to help local economic recovery and support local business growth.

Plans also include a range of indoor and outdoor sports facilities and working in partnership with Hartpury University and College it will enable the introduction of the Aspiration Academy, an outreach education centre.

Punchline says this is a missed opportunity to use the Levelling Up money to create work for local businesses and maximise the impact of the government funding to regenerate the Forest of Dean and boost the local economy.

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