AN EMPTY building in Farnworth is to reopen as an office block after £500,000 of investment.

Work has now begun on Miller House, in Market Street, which will feature 37 office suites, as well as meeting rooms and an on-site gym complex.

Construction is expected to be completed by office development firm Thrive in Autumn this year, with a show suite for businesses to view opening later in the Summer.

It comes alongside the new bus interchange in Farnworth town centre, being completed by Transport for Greater Manchester.

Bolton Council leader, Linda Thomas said: “I am delighted to welcome Thrive to Farnworth and to see Miller House, which has been empty for a long time, being brought back to use.

"We are developing a new masterplan for the Farnworth area that will focus on both the place and its people.

"We are looking for innovative solutions from investors that will assist with regenerating the area to benefit local people.

"The proposals for Miller House fit with this and we hope that it will encourage others to take a similar approach.”

Announcing the plans, Thrive officials pointed to the area's transport links, including connections with the M60 and the proximity to Farnworth train station.

Matthew Settle, the company's managing director, said: “Miller House will not only offer fantastic office suites, but it will also provide modern and vibrant communal areas and facilities, enhancing the working experience and giving our tenants an impressive space to host their clients.

“Our occupiers benefit from automatic membership to Club Thrive, which allows them to use our facilities at other locations as well as connecting to other Club Thrive members.

"We aim to grow Thrive considerably over the next six months, in addition to the Miller House we have plans to open at Burnley, Blackburn, Oldham, Cheadle and Widnes as well as having operations in Blackpool, South Yorkshire and the North East in the pipeline.”

The new office space will form part of the Thrive network, which currently has operations in Wigan, Warrington and Newton-le-Willows.

Office suites at Miller House are expected to range from 160 sq ft for two or three people to 460 sq ft for 10-12 people.

Prices will start at £475+VAT each month for a smaller suite, including access to communal areas and facilities, free high-speed fibre broadband and Wi-Fi, cleaning and a concierge service.