A Jewel In Bolton's Crown

A Jewel In Bolton's Crown

 IT has been described as the jewel in Bolton’s crown.

St George’s House, in the town centre, has undergone a £1.5 million refurbishment and has just re-opened.

The landmark building, once a Co-op haberdashery and latterly an NHS Prescription Authority building, had fallen into disrepair.

But business and council bosses believe its regeneration symbolises a brighter future for the town centre.

The building, at the junction of St George’s Road and Bridge Street, was officially reopened yesterday to about 150 guests.

Its old Edwardian elevator, complete with decorative metal work and original glazing, has been uncovered after years behind grotty hardboard.

The site was bought by Python Properties last winter and regeneration work started in February.

Yesterday’s launch signalled the start of a marketing campaign aimed at businesses, art groups and the public, who are welcome at its bistro.

Python Properties has carried out similar projects in other northern towns, from Warrington to Middlesbrough, for 15 years.

Peter Broom, a Python partner, said: “We specialise in historic buildings that are dilapidated, run-down, obsolete or vacant.

“St George’s House has a resonance for Bolton people but it was a mess when we arrived. So we’ve restored its lovely windows and high interiors, giving it an airy, light atmosphere.”“We had great success with regenerating a 1970s building in Warrington, Bank Quay House, along similar lines with offices, cafe and gallery.

Co-partner Martin Johnson added: “Too many offices are soulless.

We have manned receptions, an art curator and cafe.

“We encourage business events, and welcome the public to the gallery and cafe. Art exhibitions will change regularly to attract people back and encourage community use.

“The foyer events area can be used for free by tenants or be booked for special events.”

Keith Davies, Bolton Council’s head of economic development and regeneration, said the transformation of St George’s House reflected other progress in Bolton despite the recession.

He added: “To have seen this building empty for so long disappointed many people.

“It’s got a fantastic history and its great to see it come back to life.”

 
 
 

     We were looking around for buildings we could lease and this is was one of the central offices which has been refitted. We could choose the interior layout that we wanted and any optional extras and we decided that Bank Quay House was the building that exactly suited our needs. The money per square footage is very competitive; the owners Martin & Peter are very approachable and very, very good at listening

Ian Collier (North West Office Manager)
Christian Aid, Warrington (Current tenants, Bank Quay House)

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