PLANS to create flats in the upper floors of a former town centre branch of Barclays have been lodged.

The plans, for the building on Market Street, Farnworth, include converting the vacant first and second floors of the former bank into three one-bed flats and a larger two-bed space.

The developer said the plans would have a role in ‘ensuring the vitality’ of Farnworth town centre.

Applicants EN Investments has applied to Bolton Council to change the use from a bank to residential. The building fronts onto Market Street to the west and to the south and east is Chapel Street.

Barclays announced in March last year that it would be shutting its Market Street branch.

It said at the time that the decision to close in June 2020 came after falling numbers of transactions over the previous two years.

In a separate approved development earlier this year, a new youth centre offering a music and dance studio opened up on the ground floor.

Community interest company Believe and Achieve renovated the former banking area into a modern youth club, providing a space for those aged eight to 25 to meet friends, develop hobbies and learn new skills.

In a planning statement supporting the residential scheme, agents Sedgwick, on behalf of the developer, set out their plans.

They said: “Visually, the former bank is a prominent building on Market Street. The ground floor facades facing onto Market Street and Church Street are in stone, with ornate detailing on the front elevation. The application proposals do not change the external appearance of the building.

“We propose a flat on each floor across the frontage of the building, and another flat to the rear with windows facing across Church Street. All have a small study which makes them appropriate for home-working or for students.”