Developer Luxor Group has said its purchase of the grade two-listed Beechams Clock Tower building in St Helens is “imminent”.
The Beechams factory and office building, built between 1884 and 1887, made pharmaceutical products until 1994, but with Beechams having merged with SmithKline Beckman in 1989, the site was deemed surplus to requirements. The facility then became part of the St Helens College campus.
Luxor, which has invested in several St Helens buildings for office-to-residential conversion in recent years, said that over the last 30 years, St Helens College has invested significantly in the upkeep and refurbishment of both of the old buildings.
The factory building next door to the clock tower building recently underwent a £1m improvement package, and will continue to be owned by the college, with the teaching functions from the clock tower moving to other parts of the town centre campus. Liverpool-based ABW Architects had worked on the redevelopment of the Clock Tower for the college.
Luxor will now take on the Clock Tower building, which offers 27,000 sq ft of internal space, and said it will hold public consultation on its plans.
Paul Nicholson, owner of Luxor Group, said, “We are really excited to be working with such a beautiful and much-loved building in St Helens. As the building is grade two-listed, we have actively sought the advice of heritage experts to ensure we protect the fabric and characteristics and features of both the exterior and interior of the building.
“We plan to retain the exterior of the building and hope to enhance some of the existing features, for example, reinstating the old disused doorways and windows in the currently unused basement.”
Nicholson added: “We hope to sympathetically expose the beautiful internal courtyard that the building is currently hiding, so residents will be able to appreciate the beauty in all its entirety. Ultimately as new owners and custodians, we want to preserve the heritage of the building, enhance its legacy and bring prosperity to the College’s future.”