Work starts on Little Bolton Town Hall

Specialist historic building developer Linford: Developing Heritage has started to repair and restore the 6,600 sq ft Grade II-listed property.

Main hall at Little Bolton Town HallThe developer plans to convert the Georgian building, located on St George's Street, into a restaurant.

Linford: Developing Heritage is also looking to turn the adjoining 1,700 sq ft building at 34 All Saints Street into offices.

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 its designs for the scheme.

Both properties have remained empty for a number of years and are judged against English Heritage criteria to be buildings at risk.

Linford: Developing Heritage purchased the buildings in December 2010 for an undisclosed sum.

Until late last year, Little Bolton Town Hall and 34 All Saints Street were owned by Bolton Council.

Cllr Ismail Ibrahim, Bolton Council's executive member for development and regeneration, said: "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."

Simon Linford, director at Linford: Developing Heritage, added: "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."

A number of buildings in the conservation area were restored after receiving a grant under Bolton Council's Lottery funded grant-giving programme, known as the Townscape Heritage Initiative, which included the Georgian Terrace 44-80 Georges Road, and St George's Church.

Linford: Development Heritage is expected to submit planning and listed building consent applications and an application for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the redevelopment in May.

If approved, restoration work on the buildings could commence in summer. The total estimated project cost is £500,000.

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