WORK has begun on Stretford Mall's £2million redevelopment with the demolition of the market hall and a nearby pub.

Demolition works were underway today, Thursday, August 2, to remove a section of the Mall and create a modern new entrance facing Chester Road.

Mall bosses said the redevelopment will create a more vibrant shopping environment and attract more retailers to the area.

Gareth Wilkins, centre manager at Stretford Mall thanked shoppers and tenants for their patience during the works.

He said: “Work is now underway on this exciting £2million redevelopment at the Chester Road end of Stretford Mall.

“This is the early days of the programme and the scope has now widened to include the former O’Brien’s public house.

“We are very pleased to have commissioned a local contractor to carry out the works, and it is great news that the that 95 per cent of the materials generated will be re-used or recycled, to minimise any impact on the environment.”

An artist’s impression reveals how the Mall will look following the redevelopment, expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Messenger Newspapers:

A CGI artist’s impression of how the new entrance at Stretford Mall will look following the redevelopment​.

It shows a huge glass window which will form the centrepiece of a new entrance looking out onto Chester Road, surrounded by a modern brickwork and metal cladding frontage.

The refurbishment will consolidate the retail space inside the Mall to create a brighter, more modern and attractive atmosphere for shoppers and businesses.

Vacant units are being removed, including the former market hall, which has been empty since traders were relocated last year to larger units inside the main mall.

The market hall previously occupied 49,000 square feet at the 12-acre Stretford Mall site.

Messenger Newspapers:

A behind-the-scenes view of redevelopment works at the Chester Road end of Stretford Mall.

Upon completion later this year, the new entrance will provide direct and inclusive access to the main square at the centre of the Mall, via a pedestrian walkway from Chester Road.

There will also be a space for community artwork to be displayed along with a living green wall which will act as a screen to surround the service yard.

Award winning local Salford-based contractors Connell Brothers Ltd are carrying out the project, which will see more than 100 people work on it over the next five months.

A huge 7-metre high noise-reducing wall has been erected inside the shopping centre to keep shoppers and staff safe during the works.

Stretford Mall’s owners Lunar Stretford SARL are exploring potential opportunities to redevelop the land where the former market hall currently stands, but no decisions have yet been made.

Messenger Newspapers:

Stretford Mall shopping centre manager Gareth Wilkins (foreground) with (l-r) Stretford Mall Operations manager Craig Topping, Connell Brothers’ site manager Kevin Brooks, surveyor Kelly O’Shea and Stretford Mall centre administrator Maria Garrity.

Mr Wilkins said: “Conversations continue with third parties about the future of the land. We will announce in due course our intentions for the land to be released in the demolition process.”

He added: “This is a very exciting time for Stretford Mall and for our tenants who have demonstrated confidence in the scheme by renewing their leases and helping to secure local employment.

“It will continue the good work we have made in the last few years to bring in new tenants including Costa Coffee, JD Sports, Aldi, and Pure Gym, as well as a host of independent retailers.

“We were delighted to have been able to relocate the majority of our former market traders who have taken up leases at more prominent units within the centre, including Fleximinder, Kingfisher fish and chips, Reel Around the Fountain records, Sofi’s, Gola Gifts, Hollywood Nails and Trafford Shopmobility.”