The Church of Scientology has restarted proposals to convert the Duckworth’s Essence Distillery on Chester Road in Old Trafford into a place of worship by submitting a planning application to restore the grade two-listed building’s exterior.
The building was reportedly bought by the Scientologists in 2007 for £3.6m with plans to re-open the building by either 2010 or 2011, but this never materialised.
Now, the organisation has submitted a listed building consent application to Trafford Council to carry out repair works to the building’s exterior.
The application, lodged by architect NJSR, said that although planning applications and listed building consent would ordinarily be submitted at the same time, external repair works were needed urgently ahead of any other application.
A full application for refurbishment of the interior is expected at a later date.
Alongside repair works, cast-iron stairs to the rear of the building will be removed, while the roof will be completely stripped back and replaced with new slates, with many of the original roof slates damaged beyond re-use.
Timber rafters have also decayed in a number of locations and will have to be fully replaced.
The Duckworth’s Essence Distillery was built in 1896, and the company traded at the site until 2003 when it was taken over by food giant Cargill.