Demolition contractors have started the final phase of one of Huddersfield’s biggest projects.

They are now levelling the sprawling site that was once home to Huddersfield Sports Centre and a host of other buildings -including two 12-storey tower blocks.

All that remains of all the buildings on the site are huge mountains of stone, brick and glass.

The demolition crews moved in on the final day of February to begin the 30-week contract to clear the site.

Kirklees Council awarded the contract to Demex Ltd, of South Yorkshire.

The main challenges were to flatten the former Sports Centre - opened more than 40 years earlier by Princess Anne - and the Lonsbrough and Ibbotson flats, named after star Huddersfield sports personalities.

They also knocked down a range of former industrial buidlings on the Old Leeds Road edge of the site and a two-storey car park.

No decision has been made on a final use for the sprawling site, bordered by Southgate, Leeds Road and Old Leeds Road

Kirklees Council’s Cabinet will be considering a draft development brief and proposals for the end use later this year.

In the draft Local Plan, the site is allocated for mixed use development.

Demex brought in huge equpment to bring down the centre and the flats, including a giant mechanical claw named The Messiah, which “chewed” its way through the tower blocks.

Video thumbnail, Southgate flats demolition 6/6/16
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The team are used to major jobs; one of their previous ones was demolishing the former Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield.

The majority of material from the site is being recycled.

Timber and metals were stripped form the buildings and taken away to be recycled, while on site the concrete and stone is crushed and left as hardcore. Voids and cellars have been filled in as the work ahs progressed.

The former Sports Centre was replaced by the Huddersfield Leisure Centre at Springwood which opened last summer and has already attracted the best part of 1m visitors.