A COMPANY from Selby has played a vital role in the £60m refurbishment of Meadowhall shopping centre.

Evergrip, which is based in Selby, have installed a kilometre of glass reinforced plastic (GRP), as a 'service raceway structure', at the Sheffield shopping centre, replacing heavier steel structures from earlier plans for redevelopers Laing O'Rourke.

The project is one of Evergrip's biggest to date, and the 'raceway' runs all the way around Meadowhall's iconic glass roof. The change means services can now be placed outside the building to free up retail space inside the centre.

Nick Osborne, managing director of Evergrip, said: "This project is a real showcase for our GRP solution.

"We designed a bespoke tool, creating a new profile to meet the engineering requirements and we’re proud to have delivered a tailored solution with efficiencies which have revolutionised the project."

The GRP was lighter and cheaper than steel, should last longer, and means the weatherproof seal around the building would not need to be broken to install it, due to the way it has been fitted.

Mr Osborne said: "The very nature of the development at Yorkshire’s premier shopping destination requires minimal disruption to trading. Installing the GRP structure took just 50 working days, much faster than the time it would have taken for a heavy steel structure to be fitted.

"All materials had to be manoeuvred via crane outside of trading hours to ensure there was no risk to the public, nor any impact on the centre’s operations. Due to the reduced weight of fibreglass in comparison with steel, crane lifts were minimised and the custom produced 7.3m components were carried into position by Evergrip’s installation team. This quick set up allowed the project to move to the next step much sooner."

The company was founded in 2001, and has been working with Laing O'Rourke on the refurbishment, which is due to be finished by the end of autumn.