Silver spade digs in to mark the start of Wellington's new £8.5m Civic Quarter

An £8.5 million scheme to create a new civic heart for Wellington has been officially launched with the strike of a silver spade.

Silver spade digs in to mark the start of Wellington's new £8.5m Civic Quarter

A ceremony was held yesterday (Weds) to cut the first sod at the Wellington Civic Quarter development, which will provide a range of new facilities for residents and visitors to the historic town.

The significant scheme, which is part of Telford & Wrekin Council's Borough Towns Initiative, was launched by Council officials and representatives for the contractors carrying out the work, GF Tomlinson Birmingham Ltd.

Also attending were members of Wellington Town Council, Wellington Chamber of Commerce, Wellington Town Partnership and the ward members for the area.

Work to prepare the area got under way in March at the site near Wellington leisure centre. The project is set to take 18 months with the new facilities due to open in summer 2011.

Launching the project Councillor Eric Carter, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Prosperity, said: "This is a huge project which will transform the heart of Wellington and give a much needed boost to the local economy. The Civic Quarter has been in our minds and plans for Wellington for a long time and we are delighted to see the first sod cut and the contractors on site bringing the plans to life."

Nigel Newman, for contractors GF Tomlinson Birmingham Ltd who are carrying out the work, added: "GF Tomlinson are very excited about their involvement in the Civic Quarter Regeneration at Wellington and look forward to working with the members of the team from Telford & Wrekin Council in order to create a first class facility for the local community."

A public viewing platform has now been set up at the side of the site to enable members of the public to go and watch the scheme progress themselves.