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Hidden historic gem is set to be transformed
HISTORIC BUILDING: The former Majestic Wine Warehouse in Silver Street, Worcester, is steeped in history. 40107301
ONE of Worcester’s hidden historic gems is set to be transformed into offices or apartments in a £1 million project, it has emerged.
Developers behind the £75 million St Martin’s Quarter complex in Lowesmoor have unveiled plans to revamp the old Majestic Wine Warehouse at 18-20 Silver Street.
The site, which dates back more than 350 years, is one of the city’s most treasured buildings because it was among the first to be built at the end of the Civil War.
Carillion Richardson, which is developing St Martin’s Quarter, owns the site – which was once used as a hospital – and has secured planning permission for a revamp.
The company is stumping up some of the £1 million costs, and making a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding towards it too.
The work includes a reconstructed second floor, new roof, other internal work and the construction of a two-storey extension.
In a report to Worcester City Council’s planning committee, architect Nick Joyce said the building was of “significant interest” in the history of Worcester.
“The whole area was cleared as a firing zone in the Battle of Worcester and we think this is the first building after the war,” he said. “The public wouldn’t necessarily know about this building but it is of considerable interest to archaeologists and historians.”
The derelict section at the back is the area that has excited historians. One expert said such early hospital buildings were “rare in this country” and pointed out the features which could still be identified including evidence of sound-proofing and the separation of cubicles to disguise the sight and sound of operations.
City councillors said the revamp had been needed for a long time.
Councillor Andy Roberts said: “As anybody going past this site can see, it’s a sick old building. The idea of it being brought back to life again is just brilliant.”
Alan Coleman, of the planning department, said: “We have talked about what’s happening to this building for a long time. Now we’ve finally got an application for something to happen.”
Coun Geoff Williams said: “A lot of work has gone into this by a lot of people.”
The intention is to do the restoration, then see what opportunities there are for renting the site out on a commercial basis.
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