WORK is almost complete to convert a former pub into flats and commercial units.

The Flying Flute, Bradshawgate, known for its ornate exterior, was a regular destination for generations of pubgoers in Bolton before its closure.

In more recent years the premises also housed a nightclub on an upper floor called Kiko Klub.

The listed building is now being converted into two commercial units on the ground floor and eight apartments.

The developers Raisfuel Ltd said work on the premises paused during the spring lockdown put progress has now been made and the building should be complete by early 2021, with one undisclosed client already agreeing to take one of the units.

The upper two floors are being changed to residential, with four flats per floor.

The new flats will be served by the existing entrance at the side of the building.

A design and access statement from agent Good and Tillotson, which accompanied the original application, states ‘minimal changes’ are planned for the outside of the building.

And while noting that it sits within ‘the heart of Bolton’s night-time economy’, it says that demand for such venues is on the wane in the area.

A spokesman for the developers said that the investment had been made because they saw an opportunity to sit alongside other larger town centre schemes.

He said: “At the moment Bradshawgate is very quiet during the week but the vision for the demolition of Crompton Place and what comes after will change that.

“This development will sit alongside the new Crompton Place as we see more people choosing to live in the town centre of Bolton.

“It should be finished in the next couple of months.

“People have told me how the pub was on the circuit for people going out for a drink at the weekend.

“It’s Grade II listed so we’ve taken care to retain the external features.

“In fact rather than being diminished, the appearance of the building will be improved.”

The design statement on the plans, stated: “The appearance of the building will not significantly change as a result of the proposals.

“As the building is Grade II listed the intention it to retain the existing windows and doors.

“It is also felt that the overall appearance of the building will be improved, as existing signs relating to the previous club use on the first floor will be removed.

“In particular, the appearance of at the rear will be improved when the external escape staircase is removed, and window openings are reinstated.”