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Re-cladding work to start at Phoenix Square

Published on Friday, January 12, 2024

2 minute read

View of Phoenix Square

WORK is due to begin on re-cladding a landmark Leicester building.

Cladding materials are due to be replaced on Phoenix Square in the city’s Cultural Quarter, as part of a Government-financed scheme to improve fire safety on residential buildings.

Phoenix Square is a mixed-use building, with residential apartments, business units and also Phoenix cinema and art centre within the development.

Leicester City Council applied to Homes England’s Building Safety Fund for money to carry out the work, and was awarded £14million in November from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities scheme.

The council is working with contractors Willmott Dixon, which constructed the building back in 2009, to undertake the re-cladding work.

Discussions and consultations have taken place with the three main tenants’ groups, including Phoenix cinema and art centre, Metro PM which manages the venue’s residential units, and LCB Depot which manages the business units on site.

Work is due to begin on site from early January 2024, and is expected to last 18 months, during which the building will be clad in scaffolding. The façade to the whole of the building will be re-clad, including the central courtyard but excluding Phoenix cinema’s new extension.

The Phoenix Square building – including Phoenix cinema and the business units – will remain open for the majority of the works but there may be times when access is restricted. Advance notice will be given for any restrictions.

The work will also include a series of temporary road closures nearby, which will be signposted and managed by the city council’s highways team.

Leicester deputy city mayor for climate, economy and culture, Cllr Adam Clarke said: “This Government-funded work is being carried out due to a change in legislation following the Grenfell Tower tragedy – not because of any particular risk at Phoenix Square itself.

“This funding means the new cladding will meet the stringent modern standards required by law.

“The building will very much be open for business throughout the work, and we’ve been in contact with groups representing all users to ensure they are kept abreast of the planned work and how we can minimise the impact on them.”

John Rance, CEO of Phoenix cinema and art centre, added: “Phoenix has worked closely with the city council in the lead up to this major project on their Phoenix Square development.

“While work takes place on the building’s exterior under its veil of scaffolding, it will be business as usual for Phoenix – we’ll continue to bring a fantastic programme of film, art and education opportunities to Leicester audiences, plus meeting room hires, conferencing and events, and a superb dining experience in our Café Bar.

“Our new extension, which opened in January 2023, is outside the scope of the re-cladding project, so our wonderful roof terrace will still be open to Phoenix visitors, and we’ll continue to work with the city council to minimise any disruption to our customers.”