£1.5 million St George's House refurbishment 'was delayed by bank funding'

The Bolton News: St George’s House St George’s House

THE property developer behind the £1.5 million refurbishment of an historic Bolton building has revealed the project was jeopardised by a seven-month delay in funding from his bank.

Python Properties had tenants signed up to occupy St George’s House.

It was hoped the scheme would be completed by June, but hold-ups in the flow of cash meant it was October before the project to restore the building — dating back to 1908 — could be finished.

St George’s House, a former Co-op store, which has also housed the Prescription Pricing Authority, is now fully occupied.

Python partner Peter Broome told a packed business breakfast event at Bolton Lads and Girls Club about the eventual success of the project — and of the company’s difficulties securing funding.

Following his presentation, Mr Broome and partner, Martin Johnston, were approached by representatives of two other banks interested in helping with further restoration schemes in Bolton.

Mr Broome said he did not want to name the “funding organisation” which held up the money but added it was not one of the big four banks.

“St George’s House was undoubtedly one of the most successful office developments in Bolton in recent years,” said Mr Brooke. “But the seven-month delay could have had a highly damaging effect.

“It was a very straightforward funding proposition. We sat down with the funders in March and decided the timescale for getting the monies through.

“We had tenants signed up and it could have had a very damaging effect on our relationship with them. Also at stake was our credibility with contractors.

“I can understand banks being cautious, but we’ve been around for 15 years, and it wasn’t as if we were looking for funding for 80 per cent of the value of the project. We’re talking about 30 to 40 per cent.”

Mr Broome said there was now a waiting list of potential tenants for St George’s House and Middlesbrough-based Python had identified another historic building nearby they were now interested in and he had been encouraged after being approached by representatives of others banks at the BLGC event.

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