Work has begun to transform a derelict church into apartments with a £1m investment by its new owner.
Work is under way at St Augustine’s Church in Cheadle Heath, Stockport, after investment company The Blackmore Group bought the 19th century building through its new Blackmore Bond.
The church has planning permission for nine two-bedroomed flats across two floors.
The first phase of work involves a clean-up and restoration of the building, which fell into disrepair and was vandalised after it closed in 2007.
Religious leaders decided the church building was no longer viable as it could not be insured because of problems with the electrics that were too expensive to fix. The congregation moved to another location.
The Blackmore Group, which bought the church for an undisclosed sum from private individuals, is retaining all of its original windows and pillars, along with the tower.
The old entrance hall will become the main entrance to the apartments, which are expected to be priced from around £175,000, making them affordable for first-time buyers.
Luke Averill, a director at The Blackmore Group, said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity to redevelop a local landmark in a wonderful location. We are excited to start on this project.”
The Blackmore Group, which has its headquarters in Manchester city centre, launched the Blackmore Bond last year to fund residential and commercial property development. The bond offers investors a fixed return over a term of four or five years.
St Augustine’s is the first north west to be acquired by the bond and the third overall. Chrome Services, based in Cheadle Hulme, has been appointed as the main contractor.
“We have picked up the scheme where a previous developer felt he would be unable to complete the project.
“It is the first of what we anticipate will be many development projects in the north west for the Blackmore Bond, which is designed to enable investors to access property development and investment growth opportunities that have traditionally been the preserve of larger financial institutions.”