There's No Business Like Bulldozing Business…
Forget about construction. Have you heard about Salford's new growth industry? Demolition. Apart from call centres, nail salons and non-existent BBC jobs it's the only growth industry in town.
As whole swathes of Salford disappear, and pubs, clubs, churches, schools, estates, factories and flats get pulled down, the demolition business is on the up.
Last year, contracts worth £1.9million were shared out by just three companies, with another £700,000 worth of contracts in the pipeline, as Salford Council's demolition partners – P. McGuiness, Palmer Demolition and Forshaw Demolition – cash in on the regeneration chaos.
The £2.6million figure is just for these three companies, and doesn't include contracts like ripping down the huge Salford Mission (URC Church) on Trafford Road.
The growth is such, that more full time staff and apprentices are now being taken on to cope with demand. A Salford Council report, seen by the Salford Star, shows that P. McGuiness has taken on six full time staff and a Future Jobs Fund trainee "mostly due to the regular flow of work".
Meanwhile, Palmer has created three new posts, including two apprenticeships, plus two Future Jobs Fund trainees and, according to the Council report, has "even kept retired employees who have been keen to stay on". Forshaw has also created Future Jobs Fund roles.
The (literally) booming demolition industry – which over the past 12 months has ranged from tearing down Langworthy Road Primary School, to knocking down Duchy House, the Brass Handles pub, All Souls school and whole streets in Lower Broughton, Charlestown and Langworthy – is welcomed by the Salford Council report which states that "a more consistent flow of work allows retention issues to be addressed, particularly supporting the drive towards local labour and for this not to be short term employment".
Indeed, Salford Council is thinking about celebrating in the rubble by getting the Mayor to pose for photos with bulldozers as the destruction begins…
"It is perhaps worth noting that in all Greater Manchester authorities the Mayor or dignitaries have been photographed with the demolition machine at the start of demolitions" states the Council report "This has never occurred in Salford, and publicity such as this is something that will be considered for the future..."