The redevelopment of the Eccles Crown Theatre into 82 apartments is still set for completion in the final quarter of 2020, despite the fire that broke out in the building this weekend.
According to Goodwin Property Holdings, the developer behind the £13m project, the actions of the fire service and the police means “they have ensured the structure of this iconic grade-two listed building remains intact and we are able to continue without delay.
“Whilst the years of dereliction rendered the interior unsalvageable, retaining the original façade has always been integral to our redevelopment plans and we are delighted that we are able to proceed as planned in order to breathe new life into this historic building.”
Firefighters were called to tackle the blaze at 4am on Sunday morning, but were unable to enter fully due to safety risks. The 35 firefighters on the scene used water jets from above to control the fire, and managed to get it under control by 1.30pm.
A statement from the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service said: “All that remains of this building is the brick outer shell. Everything internal – flooring, staircases, balconies and even the roof – has gone. It made fighting the fire from inside the building especially challenging, and we only permitted two firefighters at a time into the concrete entrance hall and the foot of the stairs. They were then able to aim a jet further into the building but needed at all times to be mindful of insecure flooring and any falling debris.”
No cause has yet been confirmed.
The project was taken through the planning process by Foregate, with designs by Shrewsbury architect Ochre Building Design, and gained planning permission last year.