An historic Preston printworks has been converted into offices following a major lottery grant.
Work has finished on the £650,000 transformation of the Edwardian Lambert Brothers printing press building in Glover’s Court, which received a £346,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The plans for the long-empty building, drawn up by Preston-based FWP, have seen as much of the original building retained as possible.
The development was led by Frank Bretherton, of Glovers Court Preston Limited, who said: “We are delighted to bring this long-empty building back to life and we are proud to play our part in the ongoing regeneration of the city centre.
“HLF funding and the encouragement of the council has enabled us to speculatively redevelop the building and it has been good, as a local company, to see everyone showing confidence in Preston’s economy and future.”
Coun Peter Rankin, leader of Preston Council, said: “What an amazing transformation! The combination of the old with the new is a fantastic mix which really makes for a set of truly unique offices right in the heart of Preston city centre.
“Huge care and attention to detail has been given to this restoration and it is lovely to see.
“A big thank you to everyone who has been involved from developers, architects, builders and funding bodies – it’s been a real team effort.”
Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “It is very exciting to see this old building brought back to life and I’m pleased that the county council has been able to provide its support.
“Through projects including the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, Preston and the surrounding area is going from strength to strength and this restoration is part of a broader wave of redevelopment for the city centre as a whole.”
Barry Cleminson, architectural lead on the project at FWP, said: “Without the lottery funding support the refurbishment would not have taken place and we would have been left with a prominent building in the city centre remaining unrestored and vacant.
“There are other similar derelict buildings in need of restoration and it’s great to see all parties working hard to breathe new life into Preston’s historic past and give them a welcome new lease of life.
“There is demand in Preston for modern, refurbished small offices and the history and interior design, which respects that heritage, is an added plus.”
Paul Crowther, Townscape Heritage Initiative project manager for Preston Council, added: “This project has been a classic example of how local developers and architects can work successfully with the council and the Heritage Lottery Fund to identify, design and deliver quality restoration projects that rediscovers our past and adds to the historic fabric of our city.
“Each new scheme we help to make happen is also part of the wider regeneration of Preston city centre that we are now starting to witness, including the work to breathe new life into nearby Winckley Square.”
The Lambert Brothers printing business was established in 1899 in Glover’s Court and the premises was later expanded.
To complete the project, part of the existing rear section of the building was demolished, and a new structure was built with the same footprint.
The front of the building remains largely unchanged, while the interior has been completely remodelled by FWP to create open-plan offices over a number of floors.