Demolition begins on Walsall building for new medical centre

Work has begun to demolish a town centre building after more than three years of wait.

The clock face was among the first bits of the Challenge Building to go
The clock face was among the first bits of the Challenge Building to go

The Challenge Building on Hatherton Road in Walsall town centre is being demolished to make way for a brand new, multi-million pound health centre.

Plans for the new centre were agreed at the beginning of 2019 after a protracted opposition battle to the plans by Paddock ward councillors Rose Martin, Waheed Rasab and Gurmeet Singh Sohal.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the project was unable to begin work until now, with features such as the clock tower on the building being pulled down on Wednesday.

Once built, the new three-storey building will house 54 consulting rooms, support spaces, an optician, pharmacy and a cafe.

Planners said more than £9 million would be spent on the facility and it would bring together the existing Lichfield Street Surgery, Saddlers Medical Surgery, The Limes Medical Centre and Sycamore House Medical Centre.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, deputy council leader and portfolio holder for regeneration at Walsall Council, said: “The Challenge Building site is a strategic development opportunity in the town centre.

"The site provides an opportunity for the delivery of regeneration to complement the development plans for the wider area and the emerging vision for the town centre through the recently commissioned masterplan."

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