A former Pizza Express restaurant building could be converted into a 17-bed ’boutique’ hotel if plans lodged this week are approved.

The Grade II listed building on Wood Street, Bolton, is described a ‘semi-derelict’ and has been unoccupied since Pizza Express closed their outlet there in 2017.

The building has an ‘ornate’ ceiling and floors partially covered in mosaics.

In a heritage statement in support of the plan, developers Raisfuel Ltd said due to the premises being listed, ‘minimal changes are proposed to the exterior of the building’.

The statement, added: “The proposal consists of the conversion of the entire existing building to create a new boutique apart-hotel with part of the existing ground floor being sub-divided into four bedrooms, along with the first and second floor levels each being sub-divided into six bedrooms.

“The existing building has been now been vacant and unused for more than four years.

“Internally, the building is starting to deteriorate and is in need of investment and refurbishment.

“The change of use to a hotel would appear to be suitable for the location and size of building.

“While some of the internal heritage features will be covered over to facilitate the conversion, the general character of the building will be retained.”

The building at 8-12 Wood Street was originally constructed as a bank before its later use as a restaurant.

It dates from 1849 and is a key building within the Silverwell Street and Wood Street conservation area.

The building was created as the Bolton Savings Bank, designed by JE Gregan in an Italianate palazzo-style.

The front is faced in sandstone ashlar, with a rusticated ground floor and other classical details.

The building is set behind a low wall with later built railings, with steps to the two doorways.

The report stressed the historical wider architectural importance of the building.

It stated: “The property is a building of national importance and merits its listing at grade II.

“The building forms a key component of the conservation area and is a symbol of the commercial development of ornate decorative buildings created in Bolton in the mid 19th century.”

Planners at Bolton Council will decide on the change of use application in the next few weeks.