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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 August, 2005, 19:40 GMT 20:40 UK
Demolition of cement works begins
The former Lafarge cement works
The cement works closed in 2002 with the loss of 147 jobs
Parts of a derelict cement works are to be blown up as demolition work in Weardale gets under way.

Explosive experts are due to destroy three giant cement storage silos, each 100ft high, at the former Lafarge works in Weardale on Thursday morning.

A section of the main A689 road through the dale will be closed for 30 minutes as a safety precaution.

After the explosion, all that will be left at the site, which closed in 2002, will be the cement works' chimney.

The 370ft structure is due to be blown up in the autumn.

Lafarge spokesman, Alistair Gale, said around 40 households nearby had been advised to keep their windows and doors shut in case of falling debris.

Early stage

When the works, formerly the Blue Circle cement factory, closed 147 people lost their jobs.

After the closure the Weardale Task Force was set up to attract jobs to the dale and plans for a green, 'eco-village' are being considered for the site.

If it goes ahead it could include a hotel, a renewable energy centre and housing and office developments.

An outline of the project has been circulated in a newsletter to households although the taskforce stressed that the proposals were still at an early stage and no funding had yet been secured.

Call for jobs at cement site
08 Aug 03 |  Wear

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