CONSTRUCTION work has begun to convert a former dry cleaners into a number of high-standard flats.

The former Lakeland Dry Cleaners in Dalton Road, Barrow, closed its doors for the final time in August 2019.

The business, which had been a tenant of Barrow's high street for a number of years, was bought for £55,000 over a year ago, with plans to convert the derelict building into one-bedroom flats.

New owners Prestige Properties NW is developing the upper floors into eight one-bedroom flats as well as renovating a small retail unit at the front.

Neil Hodgson, co-owner of Prestige Properties NW, hopes the development will provide a 'boost to the town centre'.

He said: "We're converting the space into eight cluster flats with en suite bedrooms and a large shared kitchen and lounge.

"It will be like a hotel but with more perks.

"When we bought the building, we changed our plans about what to do with the site then decided on eight flats.

"Some people moan that there's enough residential in the town centre but at the end of the day retail is dying and we're making use out of an empty building.

"There's a lot of empty buildings in the town centre, so it's good to develop them into something people will use.

"Anything is better than the building lying empty."

Building work began on the site last Monday, with hopes to complete the renovation by August.

Barrow BID welcomed the development plans as 'fantastic'.

A spokesman said: "The building was in a terrible state of repair prior to being bought at auction, so it is great to see that it will be restored to a high standard.

"The retention of a commercial unit on the ground floor is important to the town centre as it is located on our main high street, Dalton Road.

"We look forward to seeing the finished building."