A derelict historic building will be revitalised with a £700,000 investment to enable three brothers to grow their businesses under plans drawn up by architects Atelier MB and interior designers Sheila Bird Group.
The two-storey former assembly rooms on Lower Bridgeman Street, Bolton, has been empty for a year and has now been acquired by the Pope family.
Adam, Dominic and Nick Pope currently run their businesses from Bayley House in Bolton but need more space to meet their expansion goals.
They currently employ 25 staff across their companies – Get Claims Advice, Polar Energy and MacFarlaine and Brooks IFA – and are aiming to double the size of the combined workforce.
Plans have been submitted to Bolton Council for interior and exterior alterations and for listed building consent.
The 10,000 sq ft, grade II listed building was constructed between 1845 and 1847 as a public baths and assembly rooms. The former baths is now a veterinary practice under separate ownership.
The assembly rooms were used for civic functions and parties until the 1980s, when they were converted into offices and many of the original features destroyed. The building is currently known as the Bolton Business Centre.
Manchester-based Atelier MB, which specialises in projects for historic buildings, has submitted refurbishment plans that include a new mezzanine floor and a small glazed rooftop extension.
Ray Makin, chairman of Atelier MB, said: “The former assembly rooms are in a state of disrepair, and we are delighted to be working with Sheila Bird Group to revive this landmark by creating high-quality contemporary office space in an area of the town centre which Bolton Council is seeking to redevelop.
“The shoddy, previous alterations will be removed and as much of the splendour of the space as possible will be exposed to reflect its historic importance and character in a dynamic business setting which will create much-needed job opportunities in the area.
“Listed buildings are best preserved by putting them to good use.”
The plans will go before councillors later this month. If approved, the scheme is scheduled for completion in mid-2019.
Atul Bansal and Chris Naughton, of Manchester-based Sheila Bird Group, are the interior designers and the project manager is Andrew Flanagan of CBRE.
Atul said: “This exciting scheme will bring out the striking qualities of the building while reflecting its heritage.
“Having been asked by the Pope family to help them with their new base, we have assembled a great team to deliver this project.”
Adam Pope said: “The growth of our businesses is restricted in Bayley House and we have bought the former assembly rooms which, once transformed, will provide the perfect base from which to pursue our expansion plans and create further employment.”