The future of a listed Wigan building remains uncertain after serious damage occurred to one its walls this week, causing businesses to be evacuated.
Following an investigation by Wigan Council, the following information has been revealed:
Damage occurred to the southern wall of the Weaving Sheds at the listed Eckersley Mill site on Tuesday.
The damage to the southern wall also impacted the western wall.
Businesses were evacuated for safety reasons and to enable a structural assessment of the stability of the wall.
The assessment showed that the wall was vulnerable to imminent collapse.
As the wall was removed, the roofs of the Weaving Sheds were also demolished as they no longer had restraint from the wall.
Approximately 50 per cent of the Weaving Sheds have so far been removed.
Further inspections of the site have raised concerns about the remaining structure – it is still unstable and poses as safety risk.
As a result, four businesses remain evacuated and the council’s business support team is working with them and other neighbouring businesses.
Historic England has been informed and is due to visit the site and the council has commissioned a structural report..
Wigan Council is working with the owner and contractors to determine a course of action with the remaining building to clarify if the remaining listed structure can be secured or if there needs to be further demolition.
Marie Bintley, assistant director for growth and housing at Wigan Council said: “Following the significant damage to the Eckersley Mill site, public safety remains our primary concern.
“We are assessing whether the Weaving Sheds are still vulnerable to further collapse and pose a safety risk, meaning that four businesses remain evacuated from their premises. We are hopeful that this is a short-term measure and our business support team is working closely with these businesses and those who neighbour the site.
“We are in conversations with the site owner and will continue to engage with Historic England to see what support they can offer to ensure the complex does not deteriorate further.
“Pedestrian and parking access on Pottery Terrace is still restricted. All of those directly affected will be contacted with updates.
“We would like to thank businesses and the public for their cooperation as we work hard to rectify the damage. Once a course of action is established and the site is deemed safe, businesses can reoccupy their premises.”