New lease of life for eyesore

The Land Registry building Birkenhead House in Lytham

The Land Registry building Birkenhead House in Lytham

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AN eyesore building is set to be transformed after years lying derelict.

Lytham’s former Land Registry site has been bought by Blackpool accountants Danbro – and the company has big plans for the landmark site.

As well as bringing more than 100 staff to the town, bosses hope to win planning permission to transform part of Birkenhead House into a hotel, apartments and community space.

It represents a new future for the site, which occupies a prime position at the head of Lytham Green and has remained empty since the Land Registry merged its Lytham and Warton offices.

There had been fears the whole site would be bulldozed for housing, but Danbro – which is currently based across three buildings on Whitehills Business Park – said it was delighted to be bringing the building back into business use.

Managing director Damian Broughton added: “The main reason we’ve bought the building is to allow further expansion for our business and to bring the three offices we occupy at the moment together.

“We employ 112 people and we are continuing to grow, and we are going to bring all that workforce into Lytham.

“It is a great opportunity for Lytham. We are very fortunate to have got this building and will work with the planners to make sure we are making the best use of it.”

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The building once housed around 700 government workers, but the last staff left the site in August 2009.

Danbro plan to take over around 50 per cent of it for their office needs, and hope to expand further.

Discussions with Fylde Council’s planners are ongoing, but the plan is to give the 1960’s facade a face-lift and build a hotel and housing.

Mr Broughton added: “One of the things that attracted us to the building was it’s in a great location and there are other things we can do with it.

“What we’re hoping to do, subject to planning permission, is put about 24 or 25 flats in there – maybe on the wing overlooking the estuary – and put a small hotel in part of the building that would bring more jobs to the area.

“And we’re hoping to use the bottom floor for the local community. We’re going to keep the structure but we will facelift it and hopefully we will go one or two floors higher.”

Coun Kath Harper, who represents Lytham’s St John’s ward, added: “I’m glad the building has been sold and it’s going to a local business, rather than all being accommodation.

“It being occupied will improve the building but I have reservations about the hotel and apartments.

“It is early days and I would like to see the plans.”

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