Asbestos removal required at historic former Birmingham bank

A key historic building in Birmingham – a city where Trident Asbestos Solutions also has an office – has been revealed to be riddled with asbestos, which will need to be removed before intended redevelopment of the site can take place.

As reported by the BirminghamLive website, the Grade II-listed former headquarters of the Birmingham Municipal Bank was purchased by the University of Birmingham in 2016, amid plans for the landmark building to be transformed into a city-centre exhibition venue.

However, it has now become known that the university has filed a planning application with the city council for internal works to the Broad Street building, stating that the structure contains “extensive asbestos”.

Reflecting on a rich and fascinating past 

When the bank’s headquarters was constructed in the 1930s to a design by renowned Midlands architect Thomas Cecil Howitt of Nottingham, it formed part of a grander masterplan for Centenary Square that entailed the removal of homes, factories and canal wharves to free up room for a purpose-built open public space.

The area is now being reinvigorated once more, and there are hopes that the former bank building will play a major role as a cafe, gallery, seminar rooms and research spaces for the university.

Having been opened by the late brother-in-law of Prince Philip – Prince George William of Hanover – in November 1933, the building was occupied until 1998. Along the way, the bank had ceased to be a department of the local authority in 1976, and was privatised in 1995.

A planning document submitted by London-based Make Architects emphasised the bank’s importance, stating that it was “fondly remembered in Birmingham as a symbol of the strong municipal self-sufficiency that has defined the city historically.”

A vital development at a momentous time

The university has previously stated about its plans for the building: “Our aim is to reopen the much-loved banking hall and vaults to the public, with a programme of exhibitions, events and learning activities created with the community and bringing our research to life for the city’s residents and visitors.

“We are also looking to develop a series of meeting and work spaces on the upper floors to host student entrepreneurs, research groups and training courses.”

As local specialists in asbestos awareness training, air testing, management surveys and related services, here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, we are excited about the bank building’s impending new lease of life, and can’t wait to see how development proceeds over the coming years.

In the meantime, if your organisation requires the assurance of working with the most reputable experts in asbestos management and removal, you are welcome to contact us for a quote, by calling 03333 441 555.

Asbestos removal to begin at Redcar’s iconic Regent Cinema

With one of our regional offices here at Trident Asbestos Solutions being based in Durham, we always take a keen interest in any local developments affirming the continued importance of services like ours, which range from asbestos removal contractor audits to asbestos surveys, air monitoring, project management and advice.

One announcement that greatly saddened us earlier this year was that of the sudden closure of the Regent Cinema on the seafront of the North Yorkshire town of Redcar. The manager of one of Teesside’s oldest and most-loved cinemas confirmed in April that the decision had been made to shut the venue “for the foreseeable future” due to structural problems.

Since then, work has been underway to save the building, amid hopes that the closure will not be a permanent one – and the sensitive removal of asbestos is a key focus.

Playing a distinguished role in local history

 Generations of residents of the North East town have grown up with the Regent Cinema as a familiar landmark. Built as the New Pavilion over the entrance of the now-defunct Coatham Pier in 1928, it was for many years a successful music hall and repertory theatre, hosting such acts as “Britain’s first boy band”, the Dallas Boys, and Billy Breen – an early stage-name of comedy legend Larry Grayson.

Indeed, it is thought that Grayson’s catchphrase, “shut that door!”, originated in the town when he uttered it in response to wind from the sea blowing across the stage due to a side door having been left open.

It later became a cinema, and has been run by Neil Bates since the early 1990s. In 2007, ‘The Regent’ – as it is locally known – even became a movie star in its own right, appearing in Atonement, which also starred Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.

Manager still committed amid “frustrating situation”

 Local newspaper The Northern Echo reported on Tuesday that work to remove asbestos from the cinema had now been commissioned, and was expected to start in the coming weeks.

Cabinet member at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council for culture, tourism and communications, Carl Quartermain, said professionals were being engaged “to remove the asbestos in a secure way. Care has been taken to ensure the boards at The Regent don’t take away from the look and feel of our fantastic seafront.”

Bates commented: “It’s a frustrating situation but I remain committed to cinema in our borough. We’re hoping that temporary alternative venues to show films might be found while the required ongoing work is carried out at The Regent.”

We certainly hope here at Trident Asbestos Solutions that this vital asbestos removal work will be successful, and that this beloved landmark can return to use as a cinema in the near future. In the meantime, if your own organisation is in need of the most dependable asbestos removal contractor audits or related services, you are welcome to seek a quote from us by calling 03333 441555.

Asbestos removal to at Redcar’s iconic Regent Cinema

With one of our regional offices here at Trident Asbestos Solutions being based in the North East, we always take a keen interest in any local developments affirming the continued importance of services like ours, which range from asbestos removal contractor audits to asbestos surveys, air monitoring, project management and advice.

One announcement that greatly saddened us earlier this year was that of the sudden closure of the Regent Cinema on the seafront of the North Yorkshire town of Redcar. The manager of one of Teesside’s oldest and most-loved cinemas confirmed in April that the decision had been made to shut the venue “for the foreseeable future” due to structural problems.

Since then, work has been underway to save the building, amid hopes that the closure will not be a permanent one – and the sensitive removal of asbestos is a key focus.

Playing a distinguished role in local history

Generations of residents of the North East town have grown up with the Regent Cinema as a familiar landmark. Built as the New Pavilion over the entrance of the now-defunct Coatham Pier in 1928, it was for many years a successful music hall and repertory theatre, hosting such acts as “Britain’s first boy band”, the Dallas Boys, and Billy Breen – an early stage-name of comedy legend Larry Grayson.

Indeed, it is thought that Grayson’s catchphrase, “shut that door!”, originated in the town when he uttered it in response to wind from the sea blowing across the stage due to a side door having been left open.

It later became a cinema, and has been run by Neil Bates since the early 1990s. In 2007, ‘The Regent’ – as it is locally known – even became a movie star in its own right, appearing in Atonement, which also starred Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.

Manager still committed amid “frustrating situation”

Local newspaper The Northern Echo reported on Tuesday that work to remove asbestos from the cinema had now been commissioned, and was expected to start in the coming weeks.

Cabinet member at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council for culture, tourism and communications, Carl Quartermain, said professionals were being engaged “to remove the asbestos in a secure way. Care has been taken to ensure the boards at The Regent don’t take away from the look and feel of our fantastic seafront.”

Bates commented: “It’s a frustrating situation but I remain committed to cinema in our borough. We’re hoping that temporary alternative venues to show films might be found while the required ongoing work is carried out at The Regent.”

We certainly hope here at Trident Asbestos Solutions that this vital asbestos removal work will be successful, and that this beloved landmark can return to use as a cinema in the near future. In the meantime, if your own organisation is in need of the most dependable asbestos removal contractor audits or related services, you are welcome to seek a quote from us by calling 03333 441555.

Discovery of asbestos adds £1.5m to the cost of work on Tamar Bridge

Critical maintenance on a major southwest England road bridge has just become even more expensive, with the news of an “unexpected discovery” of asbestos necessitating expenditure of £1.5m to put right.

The harmful material was found on Tamar Bridge in March, and meant a seven-week delay to work on the suspension system. Specialists have been brought in to implement safety measures at the bridge, where bolts are being replaced.

What do we know about the potentially dangerous fibres?

 According to Plymouth’s Herald newspaper, a report going to the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry joint committee revealed: “Work was suspended while laboratory tests on the material were undertaken. The test results confirmed that the material was an asbestos containing material (ACM) and, as required under current legislation, the Health and Safety Executive were notified.

The report added that the material was found in the joints between the two halves of each cable band clamped around the main cable and supporting each vertical hanger cable. While the reasons for the ACM’s use when the bridge was being built between 1959 and 1961 are unknown, “it is presumed to have been considered a cheap and readily available packaging material to take up any irregularities in the castings of the cable bands prior to the application of joint sealant.”

An already-hefty bill made even greater

 The report said that overall costs had increased due to the delay caused by the halt of work and the expense of the required safety measures, meaning the final bill would now be £7.5m, instead of the initial £6m.

The contractor is said to have switched to 24-hour working to accommodate the delay and get the job done, with it now being hoped that the works will be complete by October, subject to weather conditions.

Approval for the additional funding will need to be given by the Cabinets and full councils of Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council. The money would be provided through borrowing over 25 years.

The report to the committee said that in the absence of approval for such funding, termination of the works would be necessary.

It explained: “The works are critical to ensure the resilience of the suspension system and significant costs have already been incurred developing access arrangements and working methods. The works will need to be completed in the near future. Significant abortive costs would be associated with such termination.”

Get in touch with us about site audits and asbestos removals

 With our complete range of services here at Trident Asbestos Solutions including asbestos management surveys, testing/sampling, air monitoring, site audits for asbestos removal contractors and many others, we can be your organisation’s go-to provider of asbestos expertise.

Call our team today, on 03333 441555, for a competitive quote.

Former Sunderland seamstress’s widower seeks information over her asbestos-related death

The devastated husband of a retired seamstress from Sunderland whose death was attributed to asbestos-related disease has appealed to her old colleagues to provide insight into how she could have come into contact with the lethal fibres.

Jean Davis died at the age of 81 at Sunderland Royal Infirmary in February, about 11 months after her diagnosis with mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lung lining suffered by many of those to have inhaled asbestos.

Senior coroner for Sunderland, Derek Winter, recorded at an inquest a week after her death that she passed away due to industrial disease.

A search for answers for Jean’s loved ones

 Gordon Davis, who was married to Jean for nearly 60 years, instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at the Newcastle office of Irwin Mitchell to look into her illness and determine whether she could have been prevented from coming into contact with the deadly substance.

It is as part of these investigations that the legal firm is asking any former workmate of Jean during the period between 1972 and 1989 when she worked as a seamstress at the site of County Luxdon Laundry Ltd on Wycliffe Road, Sunderland to get in touch.

Mr Davis’s legal representative, Emma Tordoff, said: “Just a couple of months on from her death, Jean’s family remain understandably devastated by their loss, and are desperate to understand how she came to develop mesothelioma.

“We are determined to ensure that Jean’s loved ones gain justice regarding her death. We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to shed further light on the presence of asbestos at this site and the working conditions that Jean would have generally faced.”

What is already known about Jean’s workplace?

 County Luxdon Laundry was later known as De Mille Cleaners. Jean worked within the company’s pressing area, which some witnesses have already told Irwin Mitchell was very hot due to the presence of irons and presses.

Furthermore, it has been suggested that asbestos lagging was present on pipework near where Jean worked.

Mr Davis, 83, commented: “Losing Jean has been incredibly difficult for me and the entire family. She was a very proud and secretive woman, so many of the family only ultimately learned of her illness around Christmas time, when her condition had deteriorated.

“While nothing will ever change what has happened, we all just want to know whether her illness could have been prevented and whether more should have been done to protect her. If anyone could help, it would be hugely appreciated.”

Those with potentially helpful information are urged to contact Irwin Mitchell’s Emma Tordoff by emailing emma.tordoff@irwinmitchell.com or calling (0191) 2790095.

Through the vast range of asbestos-related services that we provide here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, including asbestos management surveys, demolition surveys, asbestos testing and the removal of asbestos, we can help to maximise your peace of mind with regard to the safety of your premises. Phone us now, on 03333 441555, for your competitive quotation.

 

North East England records particularly high rate of asbestos-related deaths

As reported by the ChronicleLive website, figures have now been released detailing the number of deaths from asbestos-related disease across the UK over the last few decades, making for particularly grim reading for the North East of England.

North Tyneside and South Tyneside ranked third and fourth respectively on the death register, a sad reflection of the formerly thriving shipyard and building industry in this part of the country.

Thousands in the region recorded to have died due to asbestos

 The high occurrence of asbestos-related deaths in the North East is a subject that is especially close to our hearts here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, given the two offices that we maintain in the region, in Sunderland and Durham.

Nonetheless, given the history of the area, it sadly does not shock us that almost 6,300 deaths were recorded across the region from 1981 to 2015 due to exposure to the deadly fibres.

When the death numbers are compared to how many would normally be expected to die in the area – the standard mortality ratio – North Tyneside is placed third in the UK for the highest rate of male mesothelioma deaths, with 491. This compares to the 364 recorded for fourth-ranked South Tyneside, with only Barrow-in-Furness and West Dunbartonshire placing higher across the entire country.

As for female mesothelioma deaths, Sunderland came in second with 144, only beaten by Barking and Dagenham.

A truly bleak set of figures for the area

 The numbers from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed that between 1981 and 2015, 2,319 people – 1,969 male and 350 female – died of mesothelioma in the Tyne and Wear area alone. The rest of the North East saw 3,979 mesothelioma deaths – 3,415 male and 564 female – in the same timeframe.

It is all a very depressing reminder of the continued paramount importance of the work of asbestos removal contractors in ridding sites across the region and beyond of this potentially extremely dangerous material.

We can help to protect against the perils of asbestos

 Please contact the Trident Asbestos Solutions team today, on 03333 441555 or by completing and submitting our straightforward quote request form, to find out more about the work that our own professionals can do to make your premises safer.

We have offices in Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham and London as well as the North East of England, which enables us to provide a genuinely nationwide service.

Public ‘not at risk’ from asbestos after Glasgow nightclub fire

One of the sternest recent tests for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service occurred on the morning of Thursday 22nd March, when a fire took hold in the roof of a building on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street that it was initially feared could spread to nearby structures such as the historic Pavilion Theatre.

Thankfully, that dreaded scenario did not come to pass, although the decision was made by Glasgow City Council not to allow staff access to the theatre for about two months amid concerns about smoke damage and damage caused to some of the venue’s doors by fire-fighters.

Nonetheless, one positive development is the fire service’s statement that there is “no risk” to the public of being exposed to asbestos as a result of the sad blaze.

Vital atmospheric testing undertaken

 According to a fire service spokesperson on 23rd March, atmospheric testing had been carried out and “concluded that there is no risk to the public from asbestos.”

However, the council deemed buildings at 92-96 and 98-106 – the latter including Victoria’s nightclub – to be unsafe, adding that they would have to be demolished.

The fire broke out at about 8:20am on the Thursday, and at its height, more than 120 fire-fighters and 20 fire engines were mobilised to the city centre.

What dangers can asbestos pose in fires like this?

 While worries about the asbestos risk from this particular high-profile fire have thankfully been quelled, that does not mean your own buildings could not pose such a danger in the event of a devastating conflagration like this.

The use of asbestos in buildings in the UK was completely banned before the end of the 20th century, but the harmful material may still be present in properties built or revamped before then.

Asbestos was once widely used in such areas of buildings as under the floorboards, boilers, pipework, insulation, calorifiers and heat exchangers. If a person inhales asbestos fibres, some may become trapped in the organs and cause deadly diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis or malignant mesothelioma. Thousands of deaths each year are linked to asbestos-related diseases.

Don’t leave asbestos removals to chance

 If you are unsure whether the users or occupants of your buildings or members of the public could be exposed to asbestos on your premises, it’s essential to avoid any unnecessary risks.

Instead, get on the phone to our experts in asbestos removals here at Trident Asbestos Solutions today, calling 03333 441555 for your competitive quotation.  

Cancer researcher diagnosed with mesothelioma, aged just 48

In a sad reminder that the lethal cancer of the lung lining known as mesothelioma can affect even the relatively young despite not typically showing symptoms for decades after initial exposure, a Blackburn-raised cancer researcher has been diagnosed with the disease at just 48 years old.

Doctor given just five years to live

 As reported by the Lancashire Telegraph, father-of-two Dr John Timms was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July, and is unlikely to survive for more than five years. In the meantime, he is set to experience ever-greater disability, including such symptoms as breathlessness, pain, fever, fatigue and coughing up blood from the virulent and incurable condition.

Mesothelioma is usually caused by contact with asbestos. Only 35% of sufferers live for more than a year, and 9% longer than five years.

Dr Timms grew up in the Wensley Fold area of Blackburn and attended St Silas Church of England School in the mid-1970s, followed by Billinge High School. He has spent much of his subsequent career as a cancer researcher, but believes that his illness stems from his childhood in Blackburn in the 1970s and ‘80s.

He commented: “My family and I have been left totally devastated by my diagnosis and the illness has already had a huge impact on my life.

“I have always had a very active lifestyle and enjoyed cycling and running, but the symptoms of the mesothelioma mean it is incredibly difficult to do that now.”

Call for information about potential asbestos contact

 Dr Timms and his lawyers have launched an appeal for information regarding how his illness may have developed. Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are keen to hear from anyone who may be able to provide insight into the potential presence of asbestos at the two schools he attended, as well as the nearby Crosshill Special School, which is now the site of Wensley Fold Primary.

The schools were then under the operation of Lancashire County Council, and Dr Timms and his legal team believe it is here where he could have encountered asbestos. They are also investigating the possibility that Dr Timms could have been exposed to discarded broken asbestos in garage plots around the Manor Road area, which he recalls from childhood.

Dr Timms, now a resident of Hitchin in Hertfordshire, said: “I cannot recall any potential exposure to asbestos during my career so can only think it potentially happened earlier than that.

“If anyone can help me gain answers regarding these schools I attended, or was around, it would be hugely appreciated.”

Anyone who is able to provide information is urged to contact Irwin Mitchell’s Rosemary Giles by calling 0370 1500 300 or emailing rosemary.giles@irwinmitchell.com.

Meanwhile, individuals and organisations with questions on asbestos removal can get advice here at Trident Asbestos Solutions can call 03333 441555 for a competitive quote.

Three tonnes of asbestos found dumped by side of Brentwood road

The removal of asbestos is unfortunately frequently required in a wide range of settings beyond the obvious environments in which the lethal substance is usually found.

This is illustrated by one recent story reported by the EssexLive website, concerning three tonnes of asbestos found dumped by the side of a road in Brentwood.

Concerned local blasts council for inaction 

 

The fly-tipping of the potentially immensely harmful material angered Jeff Forkes, who alerted both Essex County Council and Brentwood Borough Council on Thursday 15th February to the presence of the asbestos dumped along Murthering Lane, Navestock.

Even after the weekend, however, the swiftly disintegrating asbestos could still be seen on the roadside. The area is a notorious fly-tipping spot that Mr Forkes said was being turned into the “pits of Essex” due to offenders repeatedly returning without impunity.

Jeff, a 20-year resident of Murthering Lane, said that while there had been numerous incidents nearby, the most recent episode could pose a health hazard for years to come.

He commented: “Fly-tipping inert material is one thing but tonnes of asbestos in the road is another. It is toxic waste. Someone is going to die because of this.”

Worries about the possible inhalation of asbestos dust

 Mr Forkes said that despite the relevant authorities having been told of the problem, vehicles were regularly driving over the bags of roofing asbestos, crushing the material into dust.

He continued: “I’ve told them that instead of having to clear up sheets, you are going to have millions of particles and as soon as it dries out, it is going to go to dust and we’ll all be breathing it in.

“It’ll be impossible to clear up – it will lay in the verges and on road surfaces and then it’ll puff up in a cloud of dust when someone is driving with the window down. Common sense would be to clear it up now.”

Local authority pledges “safe removal”

 A Brentwood Borough Council spokeswoman said the authority was “fully aware of the asbestos roofing which has been illegally dumped in Murthering Lane” and had “taken steps to ensure its safe removal.”

She added: “As part of this action, officers will be investigating for any information that may help identify the perpetrators with a view to taking legal action against them.”

According to the EssexLive report, it was thought that the removal of asbestos from the site would take place as soon as the necessary contractor paperwork was arranged, expected to be by the end of the week.

Make us your preferred specialists when it comes to advice on safe asbestos removal

Is your organisation concerned about the potential presence of asbestos on a site for which you are responsible? If so, you can place your faith in our consultants here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, by calling 03333 441555 or completing and submitting our online form to request a competitive quote.

Three tonnes of asbestos found dumped by side of Brentwood road

The removal of asbestos is unfortunately frequently required in a wide range of settings beyond the obvious environments in which the lethal substance is usually found.

This is illustrated by one recent story reported by the EssexLive website, concerning three tonnes of asbestos found dumped by the side of a road in Brentwood.

Concerned local blasts council for inaction 

 The fly-tipping of the potentially immensely harmful material angered Jeff Forkes, who alerted both Essex County Council and Brentwood Borough Council on Thursday 15th February to the presence of the asbestos dumped along Murthering Lane, Navestock.

Even after the weekend, however, the swiftly disintegrating asbestos could still be seen on the roadside. The area is a notorious fly-tipping spot that Mr Forkes said was being turned into the “pits of Essex” due to offenders repeatedly returning without impunity.

Jeff, a 20-year resident of Murthering Lane, said that while there had been numerous incidents nearby, the most recent episode could pose a health hazard for years to come.

He commented: “Fly-tipping inert material is one thing but tonnes of asbestos in the road is another. It is toxic waste. Someone is going to die because of this.”

Worries about the possible inhalation of asbestos dust

 Mr Forkes said that despite the relevant authorities having been told of the problem, vehicles were regularly driving over the bags of roofing asbestos, crushing the material into dust.

He continued: “I’ve told them that instead of having to clear up sheets, you are going to have millions of particles and as soon as it dries out, it is going to go to dust and we’ll all be breathing it in.

“It’ll be impossible to clear up – it will lay in the verges and on road surfaces and then it’ll puff up in a cloud of dust when someone is driving with the window down. Common sense would be to clear it up now.”

Local authority pledges “safe removal”

 A Brentwood Borough Council spokeswoman said the authority was “fully aware of the asbestos roofing which has been illegally dumped in Murthering Lane” and had “taken steps to ensure its safe removal.”

She added: “As part of this action, officers will be investigating for any information that may help identify the perpetrators with a view to taking legal action against them.”

According to the EssexLive report, it was thought that the removal of asbestos from the site would take place as soon as the necessary contractor paperwork was arranged, expected to be by the end of the week.

Make us your preferred specialists when it comes to advice on safe asbestos removal

Is your organisation concerned about the potential presence of asbestos on a site for which you are responsible? If so, you can place your faith in our consultants here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, by calling 03333 441555 or completing and submitting our online form to request a competitive quote.

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