THE £9 million redevelopment of the former college site at Five Acres has so far seen £170,000 pumped back into the Forest economy, the council says.

Contractors Armac Group have now completed the first phase of works in the contruction of the new community and leisure facility, which has included the demolition of some of the existing buildings.

The council has praised the company for spending more than £170,000 of its contract on local equipment hire, as well as employing workers and sub contractors from within the district.

The project is being funded by £20 million from the government’s Levelling Up Fund, which was secured by the Forest Council, Hartpury College and University and Cinderford Town Council in 2020.

Deputy Leader of the Council and cabinet member for communities, Cllr Paul Hiett, said: “Armac Group has now successfully completed the demolition and clearance phase and brought Five Acres into a place where we can start the next phase of redevelopment.

“They have done so in a responsible and safe manner, completing a complicated task with as little disruption as possible to both the neighbouring school and residents.

“The team have also helped provide for people and businesses in the community. Through the use of workers in the area, local contractors and equipment hire, Armac Group have spent over £170,000 of their LUF funded contract in the Forest of Dean economy.

“I’d like to thank the team at Armac Group for helping us with the beginning of our redevelopment at Five Acres and look forward to now finalising the design of the site and getting to work on building this fantastic new facility.”

Armac have now completed the demolition and clearing works along with the removal of asbestos, meaning contstruction can now begin.

Regeneration Manager at the council, Wendy Jackson, said: “Having appointed Armac Group as the demolition contractor at Five Acres we have been especially pleased with how they’ve completed such a complicated project in the required timescales, as well as how they’ve worked with local subcontractors. 

“We will continue to work with local residents and sports clubs to finalise the designs prior to planning application submission next year  and look forward to beginning work to provide the best possible facility to residents of the Forest of Dean.”