THE developer bringing Little Bolton Town Hall back to life is seeking a partner to run the bar and restaurant planned for the ground floor of the historic building.

Up to £450,000 has been spent on restoration work on the imposing building — dating back to 1826 — on the corner of St George’s Street and All Saints Street.

Specialist heritage developer Simon Linford is expecting to spend another £100,000 on the property before he is able to attract a suitable partner.

Mr Linford has already agreed a deal with local gym V1ntage, currently based in Knowsley Street, to occupy the first floor.

It will be as thermally efficient as possible, using Helios Renewable Energy Systems run by Sharples-based entrepreneur Keith Irwen.

The building is in the St George’s Conservation Area, which also includes some of the buildings in nearby Bark Street and St George’s Church.

Mr Linford has received £230,000 of the total spend so far from the Heritage Lottery Fund and he is now hoping the redevelopment of the Market Place nearby and the new office block set to house nearly 500 employees planned by Asons in Clarence Street will help attract a partner for the bar and restaurant.

But Mr Linford said sustainability is the key theme of any project his business undertakes.

“The creative reuse of existing buildings is a fundamentally sustainable approach, provided long-term energy use considerations are also considered,” he said.

“We will push the boundaries of what is possible in terms of the upgrading of listed buildings to provide energy-efficient future-proof structures.”

Mr Linford and Mr Irwen reckon the normal energy overheads of a bar and restaurant would be three per cent of the business overheads.

“What we are doing at Little Bolton Town Hall will bring that overhead down to 1.5 per cent,” said Mr Linford.