DEVELOPMENTS like Alban House in High Town and the renovation of the old Butter Market could be the catalyst to kickstart a revival in Hereford city centre, according to the estate agent appointed to market the development

Martin Pearce, Connells’ local director, said that although there was not yet a culture of city centre living in Hereford, Alban House and developments to follow it, could be the key to reviving a centre hit by the retail downturn.

He said that Alban House represented a unique opportunity for those looking to live in Hereford. Elevate Property Group will be opening a show apartment in the first week of July.

“There is nothing like it existing or planned in the city,” he said.

“From the luxury penthouse apartment with a terrace overlooking the city spires, to one bed apartments which qualify for Help to Buy, there is something in Alban House for everyone.

“Within the complex, the two bed cottage with its own walled patio garden is a unique offering as well.”

The principal penthouse apartment, which was on the market for £350,000 has already been sold off-plan.

Prices range from £135,000 for the seven one bed apartments, with seven two bed apartments, three two bed penthouses and a two bed cottage in the courtyard also under construction.

David Hofton, sales and marketing director of developers Elevate Property Group, said they were very pleased with the progress being made on the project by local contractors, CJ Bayliss of Hereford.

“It has been a complex and complicated project as we had to work within a fire-damaged city centre site which had a Grade II façade that needed careful restoration and retaining. We also discovered Saxon ramparts dating back to the late 9th Century," he said.

The site was seriously damaged when fire tore through the building in October 2010.

Before Elevate Property Group purchased the site in 2016, it had stood empty and forlorn for six years, with attempts to re-develop the site becoming blighted for various reasons including previous owners failing to start restoration work, enforcement notices, owners going into administration and preservation concerns.

Completion is scheduled for late 2019 and Mr Pearce said the work on the project was already prompting inquiries.

“I think that as it had been left derelict for so long, there was a degree of local scepticism on how the project would go, but now Hereford’s citizens can see for themselves that this area of High Town is being brought back to life.

“As people start to live more and more in the centre, then I think we can also expect to see a revival in the bars, cafes and restaurants sector,” he said.

Alban House also offers two retail units, with a nationally known first tenant due to be announced in coming weeks.