Work has begun on the conversion of St Augustine’s Church in Cheadle Heath, Stockport, with a £1m investment by The Blackmore Group.
The church has planning permission for nine two-bedroom flats across two floors, which was granted to the previous owner, Liam Sloane, in 2012.
Stockport Council was considering a statutory purchase order on the church after no development progressed, before The Blackmore Group bought the church for an undisclosed sum.
The first phase of work involves a clean-up and restoration of the building, which fell into disrepair and was vandalised after it closed in 2007. The original windows, pillars and tower are expected to be retained.
Religious leaders decided the church building was no longer viable due to a problem with faulty wiring. The congregation moved to another location.
The old entrance hall will become the main entrance to the apartments, which are expected to be priced from around £175,000.
The investor bought the 19th century building through its new Blackmore Bond. The Blackmore Group, which has its headquarters in Manchester city centre, launched the Blackmore Bond last year to fund residential and commercial property development. The bond offers investors a fixed return over a term of four or five years.
Luke Averill, director at The Blackmore Group, said: “We have picked up the scheme where a previous developer felt he would be unable to complete the project.
“It is the first of what we anticipate will be many development projects in the north west for the Blackmore Bond, which is designed to enable investors to access property development and investment growth opportunities that have traditionally been the preserve of larger financial institutions.”
Chrome Services, based in Cheadle Hulme, is the main contractor.
Pillars Construction is the architect.