Six-figure restaurant revamp for former Ulverston bank
A SIX-figure redevelopment could transform a former bank and bring a restaurant and wine bar to the heart of a community.
Planning documents have been submitted that would see the complete redevelopment of the former HSBC bank building in New Market Street, Ulverston.
After HSBC shut up shop at the end of 2016, the 19th century building stood vacant for months before being bought by the Cumbria Teaching Agency.
One of the firm's directors now has designs on turning the grand building into a restaurant, wine bar and brasserie.
Tony Martinez, director at the CTA, said: "We are excited about this new development and what it could bring to the town. We are still fine-tuning our plans but are looking forward to showing just what we have in store for the building."
Although at an early stage, the plan is to situate the restaurant on the first floor and the wine bar and brasserie on the ground floor.
Mr Martinez said it was a long-held ambition to one day open a restaurant of his own.
"I've been doing recruitment for 10 years but my family's background was in bars and restaurants. I always wanted to have a wine bar or restaurant, it was always going to happen, it was just a matter of time," he said.
Mr Martinez described the restaurant plan as a "big gamble", but was glad he could offer the people of Ulverston something new.
He said: "I want to bring something that I'm passionate about to the town I work in. If I'm going to do something, I will do it to the best of my ability.
"We've taken a big gamble to make this happen. When I saw it come on the market, I had to go for it."
Since a planning application was submitted, it has attracted 13 comments from residents, all of which are positive.
During the past 12 months in Ulverston concern has arisen over the closure of businesses, HSBC included, and the negative impact that could have on the town.
Those in support of the plan made reference to this, with one saying: "Great to see an old building transformed into something useful for Ulverston."
Another said it was a "great idea and use of space" for the former bank.
As well as being a dining location, the CTA will move offices from the Ulverston Business Centre, to the building's second floor.
Former bank set to be re-Christened:
The interior of the former HSBC bank is not the only thing which is set to change.
Tony Martinez, director at the Cumbria Teaching agency, which now own the building is set to rename the building after appealing to residents of Ulverston.
A month-long competition was launched by The Mail asking locals to submit ideas for what the new building should be called.
Hundreds of applications were made, with Mr Martinez eventually narrowing down the suggestions to a shortlist of five.
That shortlist is: Midland House, Sterling House, Old Bank House, Hoad House, and Laurel House.
The names selected pay homage to the history of the town. Before becoming an HSBC, the Midland Bank operated in New Market Street for decades; and Laurel house paying tribute to the town's most famous son, Stan Laurel.
Mr Martinez will announce the building's new name next week.