New facades signal end of £500k project

New shop fronts being set in place on Water Street, Todmorden
New shop fronts being set in place on Water Street, Todmorden

The £500,000 scheme to rebuild shops on a historic Todmorden street is nearing completion following the installation of new facades at the premises this week.

Three shops on Water Street which overhang Walsden Water have been rebuilt as part of phase three of the Todmorden flood alleviation scheme.

The Environment Agency (EA) is aiming for the affected businesses, which have been temporarily relocated during the project, to be back in their premises by the end of the month.

Mark Tupman, EA project manager, said it was essential work to replace what was structurally unsound.

“It’s been a very important piece of work,” he said.

“Without it, the scheme would not have been totally complete.

“The shop units on Water Street have always represented a weak spot in the flood defences due to the height of the threshold and the fact that the shop units were unstable.

“Were a flood to happen, it could have caused the shops to collapse and block the culvert, creating flooding downstream.”

The three shops affected by the work are Sweeney’s of Tod, Self Image and Heaven House.

Mark said the project team has gone to great lengths to ensure the new facades reflect the heritage of the area.

“As it’s in the centre of Todmorden, we have had to work closely with the local authority to make sure the work meets all the requirements,” he said.

“There have been considerable efforts made to include all the heritage details and we have worked really hard to incorporate them as part of the conservation area requirements.

“We have tried to ensure that they contain as many details as possible that the original shop units had.

“We have done the shop fronts but also done some culvert work too.

“Because we were carrying out building work at three shops, we have had to do extra work on the culverts so we could build properly.”

The facades were lowered into place using a crane on Monday and Tuesday.

Work will now be carried out to decorate the units and install fixtures and fittings before the planned re-opening.

Emma Pemsel, of Sweeney’s of Tod, which was relocated to nearby Dale Street when the project began, is pleased with the rate of progress.

“As we’re just round the corner, I’ve been able to watch as the work has been going on,” she said.

“Everything has been going fine and I’m looking forward to going back later this month.”