Rossendale Free Press
Former bank is shaping up for new dual role
ALANDMARK building being transformed into coworking space and flats is taking shape and could be ready to open next March.
It is hoped that the former Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, on the corner of Market Street and Union Street in Bacup, will become the blueprint for the redevelopment of similar redundant heritage properties across Rossendale.
Heritage development trust Valley Heritage is investing in the Grade IIlisted building with its quirky Gothic architecture, turret, gargoyles and features.
Chairperson Stephen Anderson said: “The outside of the building is shrouded in scaffolding at the moment, and will be until the end of the year, but once it comes down you will still see the same building but everything will be improved. We are very grateful to all of the funders.
‘‘Everything that we originally planned to do will still happen, it has just taken a bit longer because of the pandemic and also cost a bit more. The building will be renamed Alliance, which links back to its banking history.”
The £600,000 renovation has been paid for by a loan and grant from the architectural Heritage Fund, High Streets Heritage Action Zone and Rossendale council funding to improve the exterior of the building, along with money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The ground floor, with its church-style windows, is being transformed into a light and bright coworking space, with ten desks available for hire.
Stephen said: “The coworking spaces will be open to rent on a daily basis or longer term and people will be able to hot desk.
“We are also setting up a membership scheme and people who join will be able to enjoy preferential rental rates and other benefits, including a free desk day each month in return for their monthly membership.”
Liz Hall, from Stacksteads-based Liz Henson Photography, said: “I will be looking to use the space as it will help me separate home from work. It is a central location and it will be nice having the support of other business owners around me.”
Upstairs is being converted into four one-bedroom flats, two of which will be available to rent and two will be used to provide supported accommodation for young people helped through the charity M3 Project, based in Rawtenstall.
M3 works with single homeless 16 to 21-year-olds and teenage families and has a network of householders who provide accommodation in their own homes to help the young person prepare to live independently.
Anyone interested in becoming the member of the co-working space, or wanting details, should visit valleyheritage.org.uk or contact 07971 538 144.