Pub chain banking on success with £1m transformation of old RBS building
Date published: 20 December 2019
The former Royal Bank of Scotland in Rochdale
One of Rochdale's most well-known historic buildings is set to swap pounds for pints, as work gets under way to transform the former RBS bank into a Hogarth’s pub.
New owners Amber Taverns, who own 150 pubs up and down the country, are ploughing £1m into the redevelopment of the Grade II listed building, which is due to open to the public in April next year.
The brand, which specialises in town centre community pubs, has already started work on the building.
As well as enhancing original features like covings, the ornate ceiling and architraves, the team will make a special feature of unique spaces within the building, with plans to use the old vaults as private seating areas. They are also set to create a huge beer garden at the back.
As well as stocking the usual beers, wines and cask ales, spirits lovers can look forward to over 100 different types of gin.
Sam Frankland, Property Director at Amber Taverns, said: “This is a first class building in a great location, so we were very keen to get our hands on it.
“We were attracted to Rochdale because of all the investment going on with the new shopping and leisure development. The night time economy is also really building up in this area and the council clearly understands the importance of that.”
The transformation will bring a new lease of life to an important historic property and complement work by the council to renovate a number of historic buildings in the area as part of the Historic England supported Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) initiative. It is also expected to bring around 25 new permanent jobs.
It is not known exactly when the building was built, but it was used as a house by the Rawson family from 1819, who conducted their banking business from the small adjoining building at the bottom of the Butts ginnel. The family were an important part of the development of banking in Rochdale. It was rebuilt in 1879 and redesigned in 1913 to create the distinctive frontage it has today.
The new development will also enhance Rochdale’s thriving food and drink scene, following the recent opening of new bars, pubs and restaurants, including The Pint Pot, The Garden and Bombay Brew.
Councillor Allen Brett, leader of Rochdale Borough Council said: “It’s great to see a company investing so heavily in such a historically important building, which has stood proud in Rochdale town centre for over 200 years. The fact that Amber Taverns has made such a commitment to the town shows how much special Rochdale is and how much it has to offer to investors.
“Rochdale is known far and wide for its stunning heritage and we’re proud to see so much of it coming back to life, ready to play a role in our future, as well as our past. This new business will be another fantastic addition to our night time offer and I can’t wait to see it open.”
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