The first step to repair and restore one of Bolton’s architectural gems has begun.
Specialist historic building developer Linford: Developing Heritage has ambitious plans to turn Little Bolton Town Hall, a Grade II listed Georgian building on St George’s Street, into a high quality restaurant.
The developers are proposing to carry out extensive restoration and protection work to the historic hall. They are also looking to turn the adjoining building at 34 All Saints Street into top grade offices.
And workers have moved in to peel away modern additions that have been made to the hall over the years to help reveal the building’s original structure, and uncover any hidden secrets.
The work should take about four weeks to complete, which involves removing asbestos, dry rot, mechanical equipment, and old toilets. Once this first phase is complete, Manchester-based architects Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams will be able to finalise their designs for the scheme.
The restoration project is a boost to the council-led revitalisation of the Little Bolton area which aims to enhance the distinctive architectural, historic and cultural character of the district.
Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development and Regeneration, Councillor Ismail Ibrahim, said: “This is a tremendously exciting development and one which, when it comes to fruition, will have a massive impact on that part of the town.
“We’ve already carried out extensive work to restore a number of buildings in the area from grant funding. And along with improvements to the pavements, lighting and signage, this restoration project, if approved, would breathe economic life back into two of Bolton’s most interesting and significant buildings.
“Linford has the expertise and a proven track record in finding creative uses for historic buildings. And it’s their first project in Bolton, which makes this even more exciting.
“The proposals are a great boost to the regeneration of Little Bolton and we look forward to receiving the plans in due course as part of the formal planning process.”
Director at Linford: Developing Heritage, Simon Linford, added: “This is one of the most interesting buildings in Bolton and it is historically very significant. The council have been very helpful in getting us to this stage and we’re very keen to get this building sorted out.
“We are confident that we will find tenants due to the quality of the buildings and their location and we will add something to Bolton that’s not there at the moment.
“The hall has a fantastic upper dining room, stretching the whole width of the building, with large Georgian sash windows flooding it with light. Downstairs there is an equally large room suitable for a bar, as well as an outside terrace and other rooms. It’s ideal for a restaurant thanks to its great spaces and aspect.”
Linford: Development Heritage is expected to submit planning and listed building consent applications and an application for grant assistance towards the redevelopment in May.
If approved, restoration work on the buildings could commence in summer.