December 13 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 31, 2013
The rebuild of a fire-ravaged historic building in Bury St Edmunds town centre is due to start.
Contractor Seamans Building has been appointed to carry out the rebuild of 17th-century Cupola House in the Traverse.
The Grade I-Listed building, which was home to Strada restaurant, was largely destroyed by fire in June last year .
Plans to rebuild the historic property drawn up by architects Purcell and structural engineers Richard Jackson were approved in July this year.
Seamans Building has now started the enabling works - or early site preparations - and will be working closely with the architects to reconstruct the historic property and its namesake cupola.
The builders have worked on the project from the beginning, undertaking the emergency works in the immediate aftermath of the fire, carefully removing destroyed fabric and debris and maintaining the site while the plans were developed.
They will be on site for a little over a year, with work due for completing at the beginning of winter 2014.
The on-site team will be working closely with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, residents and businesses to ensure any disruption that might be caused as a result of the works will be minimised.
Purcell Associate, Simon Marks, who will oversee the project on site, said: “We are pleased that Seamans Building has been appointed for the Cupola House rebuild.
“Their enthusiasm for the project combined with the work they have carried out to date to save some of its unique features will help to ensure that Cupola’s historic character is recaptured.”
Councillor Alaric Pugh, cabinet member for economic growth at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Cupola House is a landmark in one of Bury’s most attractive shopping streets and I am heartened by the rate of progress in returning it to glory.
“This will be helped by Seamans’ continuing involvement.
“They have established relationships with the Traverse traders and recognise that this is not only about the Grade I-Listed building, but reconstructive surgery of a vital piece of the town’s independent shopping experience.”
A spokeswoman for Purcell said following a meeting between the project team and Traverse traders last week it was agreed there would be no deliveries in the Traverse for the rebuild and all would be made through Skinner Street at the back.
Also, the scaffolding on the front of Cupola House will not be increasing in size.
Cupola House is owned by OMC Investments and is leased to Strada.