Historic Garnett’s Cabinet Works to be demolished


THE historic former Garnett’s Cabinet Works building on Barbauld Street, Warrington, is set to be demolished due to its unsafe and dangerous condition.

A Court order has been issued under Section 77 of the Building Act 1984 for the demolition of the building which has been unoccupied for more than 60 years.

Demolition contractors will initially hoard off the site in order to preserve public safety and then commence immediate demolition works.

The precarious state of the building will mean that much of the demolition will have to be undertaken by hand and the works will take approximately six months.

The site is a key location within Warrington Borough Council’s framework for growth Warrington Means Business. It will provide a direct link between the £130 million Time Square regeneration project and Warrington’s Cultural Quarter and help grow Warrington town centre’s leisure economy. It will allow easy access across town from the bars, restaurants and cultural amenities surrounding Queens Gardens over to the Time Square project with its multiplex cinema, restaurants and new Market Hall.

Once cleared the site will initially be utilised as a temporary car park before works commence on an eventual residential scheme, subject to planning permission

The former Council office building to the rear of the property adjacent to the Cairo Street Chapel is currently being refurbished by a private developer with the intention of creating it into a restaurant.

Andy Farrall, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director Economic Regeneration, Growth & Environment commented: “This is a key site in Warrington’s growth agenda and will in the future provide a key linkage from Palmyra Square over to the Time Square project.

“The former Cabinet Works is in an extremely dangerous condition and has largely been unoccupied for 60 years. The roof has collapsed and the building ravaged by vandalism and the passage of time, with numerous anti-social incursions having taken place.”

Elfriede Sheikh of the adjacent Unitarian Chapel Cairo Street added: “We, the Unitarian Chapel at Cairo Street, are the very close neighbours of the old Cabinet Works with the adjacent Water Tower. Both, but especially the Water Tower, have been a landmark for Warrington for very many years. Unfortunately the time has come now when the structures of the buildings have become so weak and extremely dangerous that there is no way but to demolish them.

“Over the years we had endless trouble with vandals throwing slate tiles, bricks and massive boulders from the huge wall of the Cabinet Works and even the top of the water tower, endangering their own and everybody else’s lives. Even the police was unable to access the area due to the danger. So I can say we are all very relieved now that we can look forward to the restructuring of the Warrington town centre, where we are playing a big part with also the demolition of our old Sunday school to eventually provide access from Cairo Street to the town centre and where residential accommodation will be provided.

“We also welcome the council’s decision to restore the very historic Priestley Gates which will then give access to the cultural quarter and our beautifully maintained garden and historical graveyard. It is always difficult to embrace change of this extent, but we will now be able to look forward to a much improved town centre for all the people of Warrington.”


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.


    • Dizzy wrote this almost a year ago: …….”so my guess, and I hope I am wrong, is that very soon we will hear the news that the council have decided to DEMOLISH due to lack of available funding to renovate but more likely because of safety ‘fears’.”

      • Seems I was right then 🙁 I hoped I wouldn’t be but it was so obvious that it wasn’t wanted and was simply in the way of other ‘plans’ hence the reason nobody in the council did anything to force the then owners to secure and maintain to a standard that COULD have preserved it until such a time that another use and renovation could be carried out. Easy way to get rid of something though…just leave it to rot and blame someone else then demolish with a statutory notice due to safety concerns.

  1. Just a thought but if the whole building is SO unsafe how come the Council allowed a Warrington Guardian photographer to go in and walk around it all a week or so ago to take photos ?

  2. …and how much is this demolition going to cost the council (I believe they bought it recently). The last asbestos survey report I read said there is asbestos in there and some areas were inaccessible so could not be surveyed further to ascertain how much there was. Maybe the council shouldn’t have bought it as the cost for forced demolition would then have come from the previous owners pockets not OURS !

      • Because they could and didn’t care? After all it’s clear from Andy Farrel’s comments and others that they [council/warrington &co] ‘have plans’ for the site and always have had. Now they finally get their way but at a cost !!

    • Not necessarily as some people online elsewhere seemingly just see it as an old redundant building which is past repair and a blot on the landscape and needs to go. They don’t even seem to know it’s history or that the previous owners were simply allowed to let it rot and leave it unsecure so vandals etc could get in as and when they felt like it let alone that there has been a battle to retain the tower and perhaps the main buildings too for years in the hope of renovatation or re-use but in a modern way. Maybe they should try and keep up with the local news pages before they jump to the conclusion that it’s just all rotted away over night ….. durh

  3. I wish Warrington or Developers would look to our neighbours and take inspiration from the Northern Quarter or especially Liverpools Baltic Triangle, as this building could of started the process of having something unique in Warrington. I really inviting, innovative arts space that could of added to the Cultural Quarter so it isnt just Bars and Restaurants. Such a shame

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