Blackpool’s ‘second tower’ to be blown up on Sunday

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A Blackpool landmark will bite the dust on Sunday when it is blown up to make way for houses.

Demolition experts will detonate the eight-storey tower at the National Savings site on Mythop Road at 9am.

Premium Bonds buildings getting ready to be demolished.  Pictured is Pete Marquis.

Premium Bonds buildings getting ready to be demolished. Pictured is Pete Marquis.

The famous building was once home to ERNIE - the Electronic Random Number Indicating Equipment that selects Premium Bond winners - and is one of the first sights people see on the approach to Blackpool from the M55.

150 kilos of dynamite will be used for the blast which will see 6,000 tonnes of concrete come tumbling down.

It is the second time in 12 months controlled explosives have been used to demolish buildings in Blackpool.

Last July saw three tower blocks at Layton detonated.

Premium Bonds buildings getting ready to be demolished

Premium Bonds buildings getting ready to be demolished

Preston-based contractor Pete Marquis, who is carrying out the demolition, said: “It will be a very precise operation set up by engineers.

“The reason we have chosen to dynamite it is to minimise the amount of dust, and we have to have the building down before the caravan park at Marton Mere opens on March 1.

“Charges will be fitted to the first four floors and then the weight will bring the top of the building down.

“It will be quite a sight to see it go.

Premium Bonds buildings getting ready to be demolished

Premium Bonds buildings getting ready to be demolished

“Everyone who has been to Blackpool has been past it, it is Blackpool’s second tower.”

Preston New Road will be closed for a very short time on Sunday while the demolition of the 120ft high tower is carried out.

The explosives have been set by the same experts involved in blowing up Layton flats.

Around 20 staff are part of the demolition team, and there is 24-hour security on site.

Premium Bonds buildings getting ready to be demolished

Premium Bonds buildings getting ready to be demolished

Other offices on the site are also being demolished as part of the redevelopment using bulldozers, with full clearance due to be completed by June.

All the material is being recycled, apart from asbestos which has already been removed prior to demolition.

National Savings and Investments (NS&I) has sold the land to Rowland Homes which has planning permission to build 118 homes accessed from Preston New Road.

Part of the land is also earmarked for employment use.

Around 450 civil servants still work for NS&I on the site, but have been transferred to the Moorland building which will continue to operate, and which also now houses ERNIE.

The NS&I site at Mythop Road opened in around 1978, but the tower buildings have been vacant for some time and had fallen into a poor state of repair.

Over the years thousands of Fylde coast residents have worked in the buildings.

Marton councillor Jim Elmes has been invited to view the demolition on site, along with Clifton councillor Adrian Hutton.

Coun Elmes said: “The tower is an iconic building and one of the first things you see when you come into Blackpool.

“So it is a shame to lose it, but it is well past its prime
 and is just not fit for any use now.

“In the early days when ERNIE was a huge computer they needed the space, but it’s the size of a laptop now.”

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