Pub operator Amber Taverns has bought the 5,850 sq ft, grade two-listed, former RBS bank in Rochdale town centre and begun work to transform it into a Hogarths pub.
Having acquired the building from RBS last December, Amber Taverns has pledged to invest £1m into the project, which is set to complete in April. Work on the rain-damaged top floor has already begun.
Original features like ceilings and covings will be retained and enhanced while the bank’s vaults are set to be turned into private seating areas. In addition to this the group plans to create a large beer garden.
The redevelopment is part of Historic England’s UK-wide Heritage Action Zone initiative, which, according to the heritage body, aims to “transform a failing, retail-dominated street into a vibrant area of mixed-use development that acknowledges and celebrates heritage”.
The building was once used as a house by the Rawson family from 1819, who conducted their banking business from the small adjoining building at the bottom of the Butts ginnel in central Rochdale.
It was rebuilt in 1879 and redesigned in 1913 to create the distinctive frontage it has today.
Sam Frankland, property director at Amber Taverns, said: “This is a first-class building in a great location, so we were very keen to get our hands on it.
“We were attracted to Rochdale because of all the investment going on with the new shopping and leisure development. The night-time economy is also really building up in this area and the council clearly understands the importance of that.”
Cllr Allen Brett, leader of Rochdale Council, said: “It’s great to see a company investing so heavily in such a historically important building, which has stood proud in Rochdale town centre for over 200 years.
“The fact that Amber Taverns has made such a commitment to the town shows how much special Rochdale is and how much it has to offer to investors.”
There are eight Hogarths pubs in the UK including two in the North West in Bolton and Preston.