The architect behind plans to transform a former printers into an upmarket office complex will plug a gap in Preston’s property market.
Philip Thornton, of architects Etc Urban, said the proposals for the former Lambert Brothers printworks on Glovers’ Court would attract businesses into the city centre.
The scheme which will see the building converted into an office unit with a further six units built in the neighbouring car park was passed by Preston Council’s planning committee on Monday.
Mr Thornton said talks were already underway to find a tenant from the property and said he expected to press ahead with the scheme in the near future.
He said: “We based our designs on the advice were given by our commercial property agents, they told us there was a demand in the Preston market for this type of accommodation.
“People looking to locate into the city centre are looking for medium-sized offices with all the bells and whistles and that is what we are giving them.
“That is what this development delivers and, knowing the people behind it as I do, I am expecting them to get started on it sooner rather than later.”
Etc Urban is a specialist design and architecture practice set up by The Chase, the agency run by designer Ben Casey, and David Robinson and Martin Whittle, managing partners at Preston-based architects, Frank Whittle Partnership.
Mr Thornton said the architects had pushed the owners to keep the printworks building, which dates back to 1899, and integrate it into the scheme.
He said: “It is not a breath-taking piece of architecture, but I think it is these kind of buildings which give Preston its character.”
Coun Brian Rollo, chairman of the planning committee, said the existing building was “a mess” and praised the proposals.
He said: “We were pleased to pass it. It gets rid of an ugly eyesore and will provide wanted accommodation for offices.
“It is a nice development, it is in the city centre, it will provide jobs and get rid of an eyesore.”