A tower crane at Jesus College’s Northgate House redevelopment is now being dismantled as the £40m building project nears completion.

The removal of the Cornmarket crane, which has lifted hundreds of tonnes of materials on to and around the site, marks the beginning of the fit-out phase for the project to create a new building in the city centre.

Northgate House, which sits at the corner of Cornmarket Street and Market Street, will provide the college with new teaching and research facilities, a digital hub, indoor and outdoor communal spaces, postgraduate accommodation, a café and public exhibition spaces.


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It will also feature new retail units and an NHS medical centre for the local community and visitors to the city. The project is due for completion in late 2021.

The crane, in place since February 2020, has been essential to enabling the College’s construction partners BAM to manoeuvre materials on to around the site with minimal disruption to neighbouring buildings and shops.

The dismantling process is taking about three days to complete, with the first stage being to carefully remove the long lifting arm.

Work is also about to begin on the removal of scaffolding to the Cornmarket frontage of the building, giving the general public their first view of the development’s stone and glass facade.

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David Stevenson, Jesus College’s property director, said: “Over the next few weeks, BAM will slowly and carefully start to take down the scaffolding that has hidden the building from view for much of the past year. We are all looking forward to seeing the new Northgate emerge.”


Behind the scenes, a range of highly-skilled contractors, including stonemasons, electricians and plasterers, are hard at work.

Mr Stevenson added: "“Despite the Covid-19 restrictions in place, which mean that the teams must maintain social-distancing and adhere to mask-wearing guidelines where required, the site is buzzing with activity.

"Glazing and roofing is completed, and electrical work is now under way in the student accommodation block.

"Plastering has begun across many internal spaces, and stonemasons are currently installing stone work in our new quadrangle.

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"It’s wonderful to see the building transforming, and the vision of our architects MICA becoming a reality.”

The progress is a boost for Cornmarket which in recent years has suffered the loss of a number of stores to the Westgate Centre and the closure of department store Boswell's.


American clothing chain Gap recently announced it was closing stores including the one at Clarendon Centre off Cornmarket.