Builders finish Covid-delayed 22-storey block in Sheffield just hours before students move in

Relieved builders finished a 445-bed development in Sheffield the day before students moved in - and then helped carry their luggage over the threshold.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 4:45 pm

The 136-strong team building ‘The Gate’ on Eyre Street, overlooking Furnival Square, was working to a strict deadline at the beginning of term - despite having to down tools for five weeks in spring.

They worked overtime to get the development up.

But they faced further delays due to noise complaints from the Jury’s Inn hotel when snooker stars in the World Championships at the Crucible were in residence, according to Dominic Trainor of builders McAleer and Rushe.

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The Gate has 22 storeys and 445 beds. Picture: Chris Etchells

It was completed with hours to go. And, as is traditional, the next day construction workers helped the first occupants move in, he added.

Although not full, he believed occupancy was ‘healthy’.

The Gate is worth an estimated £35m and was funded by London-based Curlew Capital.

At 210ft, it is a new, red brick landmark on Sheffield’s skyline, believed to be the city’s sixth tallest building.

Builders on The Gate development in early September, ahead of a September 11 deadline. Picture: Chris Etchells

Mr Trainor said the build had been “tough.”

He added: “It’s been a good one to work on - what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

“I’m proud of what we have done in the circumstances, proud of my team and of the sub-contractors.”

Work was suspended for five weeks from March until new safety procedures were devised.

Impression of the roof terrace at 210ft.

Then staff worked long hours to catch up.

“There were occasions when the manager at Jury’s Inn rang and asked us to stop working due to noise, especially during the snooker, and we did. We tried to adapt as best we could.”

Mr Trainor thanked Sheffield City Council for showing ‘flexibility’ in varying planning rules on working hours.

“This is a progressive city, they understood the challenges we had.”

The Gate has a gym, games room, cinema room, kitchen for entertaining and roof terrace.

It replaced an office block that was started but abandoned due to the crash of 2008. Two floors had been built.

McAleer and Rushe demolished the structure but used the foundations for The Gate, Mr Trainor added.

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