Muncher ready for mouthful of old market hall

Published on 17 April 2015

THE DEMOLITION of Leicester’s old indoor market hall will speed up this weekend with the intervention of a giant 50-tonne long-reach excavator.

Nicknamed ‘the Muncher’, the excavator will work its way into the centre of the site on Sunday (19 April) by chomping into what remains of the 1970s building.

The demolition team from Connell Brothers Ltd – who started on site in January  – are due to complete the job in the summer.

Head of economic regeneration Mike Dalzell said: “Work to demolish the old indoor market is going well and is on track for completion by mid-summer.

“The arrival of the Muncher is a key milestone in the demolition process. Up to this point, a lot of time has been spent stripping out the building, but now people will start noticing rapid progress on site as we start to take away the main structure.” 

In order for the Muncher to operate safely, Market Place South will be closed from 7pm on Saturday (18 April) until 6am on Monday (20 April) morning.

Steve Balyski of Connell Brothers Ltd said: “We’re pleased that we’ve been able to manage this project – which is on a very confined site – without causing too much disruption to businesses in the area. 

“Bringing in the Muncher means that once the main structural demolition is complete, the area will open up, affording previously concealed views of several interesting listed buildings and giving a feel for the new square.

“Virtually all the material from site will be recycled, with very little going to landfill.”

Once the site is clear, the city council will continue with its plans to regenerate the market area by creating a new public square and an extension to the rear of the historic Corn Exchange.

Contractors for these works are expected to be appointed in June, with the scheme due for completion in early 2016.