The Manchester-based property regeneration company has completed the acquisition of the former Duke William hotel in Staveley, Cumbria, with plans to convert the building into workspace for creative businesses.
Watch This Space, which was founded by Michelle Rothwell earlier this year, has submitted a planning application to convert the grade-two listed building into “Billy’s Space”; nine workspaces with their own front doors, suitable for offices or leisure.
In addition to transforming the existing building, the proposals include the construction of a flexible new-build space at the end of the existing property.
According to Rothwell, the company is on an acquisition drive across the region. She said: “Whilst Manchester city centre remains a core area for our business, we’ve identified several sites across wider North West region, which we believe would be ideal locations for these new business hubs. Our passion is to transform ordinary spaces into amazing place; that’s not just in tried and tested areas such as city centres but also in areas that are outside of the norm as we believe in our product and its ability to drive demand.”
The company has submitted a planning application to convert the Grade II listed building in Staveley into nine dedicated workspaces with their own front doors, suitable for offices or leisure use. In addition to transforming the existing building, the proposals also include the creation of a highly flexible new build space which will be built at the end of the existing property.
Rothwell said: “The Duke William was in a really sorry state having been passed from owner to owner and left derelict for the last 18 months, which has given way to damp and rot. It’s just the kind of building that Watch This Space likes to get its hands on and bring back to life
“Billy’s Space will be pioneering for the area and by regenerating this property, we can help create a hub for the next generation of businesses where they can collaborate and grow.
“Giving businesses their own identity is central to the thinking behind this scheme and so, with that in mind, we’re giving occupiers the opportunity to purchase their own space, something which is largely unheard of for businesses of this size.
“The refurbishment will take approximately nine months to complete and once finished each creative space will have its own kitchen facilities, toilets, showers, bike facilities and some of them will even have their own log fires.”
Based in Manchester city centre, Watch This Space recently completed the acquisition of 31-33 Princess Street, and launched “That Space”, a co-working office targeted at property companies.
The Duke William was purchased for an undisclosed sum. Watch This Space was unrepresented. Jenics advised the vendor, a private landlord.