Chapel-en-le-Frith property partners reveal first look at plans to convert historic bank into restaurant

A pair of Chapel property businesses have revealed the first glimpse of their exciting plans to convert an historic former bank building in the town into a restaurant-bar and living accommodation.

By Ed Dingwall
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 8:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 8:50 am

High Peak Borough Council granted planning permission last year for the conversion of the grade II-listed 19th century building on Market Street, previously home to the Royal Bank of Scotland until it shut in 2019.

When it reopens this year, it will be as Deacon’s Bank, a nod to the name inscribed above the main entrance – Williams Deacon's Bank – a business which was taken over by RBS in 1930.

The project will create a restaurant on the ground floor and two flats above, with many of the original features being restored to fit in with a contemporary interior makeover by local firm Jessica May Design.

The glamorous interior scheme was created by Chapel business Jessica May Design.

Director Jessica Crane said: “We wanted to create a design that paid homage to the building’s incredible history and was sensitive to the stunning period features we are retaining throughout the building.

"Creating something that you don't see every day in hospitality was key. How often do you get to dine in a 200-year-old bank. Tis space has to be one of a kind. This project is so special, and we're so honoured to have had the opportunity to design it.”

While much of the design is at the early concept stage, details include a steel bar structure in reference to the area’s history of mechanical industry, and a wall of ceramic poppies in tribute to the 78 First World War soldiers commemorated on the memorial opposite the building.

It will be the first venture into the hospitality sector for a developer based in the town who has taken on several notable High Peak projects, including the Basin House in Whaley Bridge and Goddards music shop in Buxton.

The design incorporates traditional elements into a sleek contemporary aesthetic.

While he has asked not to be identified, he said: “I bought the building for around £180,000 in January 2020. Living in town, it just caught my eye as a very old building that had fallen into disrepair and needed bringing back into use.

“We want to maintain its sentimental history while creating a new welcoming place for people to share a good time. I hope it can help attract new visitors to the area.”

Contractors have already ripped out many of the modern bank interiors, with specialist heritage conservation work set to begin in the spring in line with planning conditions.

The developer said: “The building might throw up a few surprises along the way, but I think we’ve got to the bottom of everything. All the 21st century fixtures and fittings have been removed.

Touches of luxury in the bathrooms.

“There are two original safe rooms which we will restore, and a lot of structural stuff that needs sorting including the front wall on the main road which needs rebuilding. We’re aiming to be be open in time for Christmas this year.”

For more information on the plans, search for application HPK/2021/0271 at highpeak.gov.uk or follow the Facebook page at https://bit.ly/3H3Q15R for updates.

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The venue looks perfect for cosy nights out.
A reminder to all who enter.
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The building occupies a prominent spot on Chapel Market Place but has been standing empty for almost three years.
The original occupant of the building was taken over in 1930 by RBS, which vacated it in 2019.
The building retains plenty of security measures from its time as a bank.
The condition of the building's rear walls show much remedial work will be required.