The New Walk Centre may have been part of the skyline of Leicester for more than 40 years, but it took seconds for them to come crashing down in a controlled demolition today.
The two towers which were the headquarters of Leicester City Council were collapsed within their own footprint, in front of hundreds of onlookers this morning at 10am.
Hundreds of people gathered in the city to watch the demolition and stood behind the 150 meter exclusion zone, others managed to find vantage points to watch from.
2,000 charges were placed in the concrete and connected by 3km of wires and cables. The 16,000 tonnes of rubble will now have to be cleared, which should take 3 – 4 months.
The demolition was carried out by Birmingham based DSM at a cost of £3.5million.
An exclusion zone has been in place since 6am this morning and will continue until until 6pm. It includes an area bordered by Upper Brown Street, Chancery Street and part of Pocklingtons Walk, part of Market Street including the Fenwick store, Wellington Street, Park Street, and the bottom section of New Walk from approximately Holy Cross Church.
The zone extends across New Walk to King Street at its junction with Marquis Street, before crossing Duke Street, Mill Street, and Welford Road near Bannatyne’s gym. It continues to the rear of buildings on the western side of Welford Road, York Road and behind Newarke Street Car Park.