A key milestone has been marked in the £10 million redevelopment of a former nuclear bunker on the outskirts of Hexham as the new Travelodge reaches its peak. 

Contractor, Esh Construction, was joined by Union Property to witness the latest progress in this major transformation scheme, which saw the official completion of the Light Gauge Steel-framed structure and concrete roof deck for the hotel. 

A Lidl food store and 250-space town car park will join the 69-room Travelodge on the vacant 5.5-acre site, which is set to deliver an estimated £2.16m visitor spending boost for the town and 60 new permanent jobs. 

Work on the scheme has been forging ahead since Esh Construction started on site in February this year. The Lidl building is watertight and internal work has commenced, while on the perimeter of site, the careful removal of the stone listed wall on Alemouth Road has recently started, with the materials being stored on site for re-use. 

At Alemouth Road, significant infrastructure improvements have begun, where a new roundabout and main access road into the site will improve road access and pedestrian safety. 

Esh Construction’s Divisional Director, Gary Dobson, said: “The project delivery team at Hexham Bunker have made excellent progress to date and we are pleased to mark this key milestone on site. This scheme will provide a boost to spending in Hexham and a raft of new jobs, which is a major factor for the town’s economic recovery from the pandemic. We look forward to continuing our work alongside our partners to bring the development to completion in 2022.”

The former nuclear bunker site was purchased in October 2018 by Newcastle-based Union Property and plans for the development were given the green light by Northumberland County Council in late 2019. Peter Carruthers, Consultant Project Director, said: “It is a tremendous achievement for our team, in partnership with Esh Construction, to have reached the topping out milestone. We are thrilled to be a part of this significant development for the town, and to have remained on programme following the difficulties of the past 18 months is a huge testament to the monumental efforts of all the teams, consultants and supply chain involved.

“As Hexham continues to recover from the pandemic, we are confident that this very significant and important commercial project in the heart of the town will further support its regeneration. Union Property are focused on delivering best in class developments and we are proud to bring this transformational project to Hexham.”

Light Gauge Steel (LGS) framing-specialist, Sigmat, was responsible for building the structure of the four-storey Travelodge hotel. 

Esh Construction is working in partnership with FaulknerBrowns Architects, Portland Consulting Engineers and kyoob to deliver the development which is due for completion in April 2022.

To find out more about Esh Construction, visit www.eshgroup.co.uk