MORE than 450 lorry loads of rubble will be removed during the demolition of Carlisle’s derelict Central Plaza Hotel, say council chiefs.

Carlisle City Council has confirmed that the removal of the controversial former grade two listed structure will begin in earnest on Monday. More than 8,000 tonnes of rubble will be removed from the site and transported to a registered recycling centre.

The demolition process - expected to take up to four months - is about to enter its fifth week after teams began work on November 11. Hopes that the hotel could be renovated were dashed as the building’s structure crumbled.

As the work got underway, nearby Victoria Viaduct was closed to traffic and pedestrians and a cordon was put in place.

In recent years, the crumbling building become a magnet for vandals and urban explorers.

The floors in the building also collapsed, prompting fears for its stability.

A Carlisle City Council spokesman said: “Following our contractors taking control of the Central Plaza site on November 11, work continues and has included some partial demolition.

“This has included the separation of the Central Plaza Hotel from West Walls Theatre, the demolition of the lower range of buildings and the construction of an access platform to accommodate a 67-tonne high reach demolition excavator.

“The design team explored all options to safely demolish the building, but due to the loading restrictions on Victoria Viaduct, the high reach demolition excavator will commence work from the rear of the site gaining access to the site via West Walls working forwards to Victoria Viaduct.

“The demolition vehicle is due to arrive on site next week.

“Once it is safely positioned on site, the demolition of the main building will take place.

“It is estimated that about 8,000 tonnes of rubble will be removed from the site, resulting in excess of 450 trips by HGVs to remove the rubble.”

The spokesman added that attempts to salvage the ornate carvings located on the side of the building will also be made by demolition teams. In a bid to ensure the work is completed as quickly and safely as possible, contractors will continue to work throughout the Christmas period.

“The site continues to be secure and 24-hour security is in place with CCTV monitoring in place to prevent unauthorised access behind the debris field.

“We continue to support businesses and have put in place a hardship fund for businesses directly affected,” the spokesman said. A hotline has been set up for affected businesses to contact the council’s support team. Call 01228 817444 or email