A FORMER Baptist Church has a new lease of life.
It has been converted into student accommodation by a consortium of Huddersfield businessmen.
The project to renovate the listed building at Primrose Hill is the first for newly-formed Edgerton-based property development company Premier Student Lettings – which was established with the support of Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking.
The building on Cross Lane stood vacant for two years before being bought in a joint venture by the company’s directors John Joyce, Kieran Bradbury and Richard Shaw.
The four-storey property, built in 1880, has been converted to provide 44 student rooms arranged into five-bed units, each with its own kitchen.
Rooms will be available to rent individually or as a unit.
There are also common rooms on each floor and an additional larger common room in the basement as well as car parking and bicycle storage space.
Mr Joyce said: “While our team had previous experience in property development individually, this was by far the largest challenge we’d taken on, which is why we joined together to form Premier Student Lettings.
“We decided to keep the exterior unchanged as it’s a very attractive building, but its size led us to create bigger individual rooms and common spaces than most other student accommodation we’d seen in the town, giving the finished property a great spacious feeling.”
Funding to buy and convert the old church came from Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking through the Government-backed Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS).
Using FLS, Premier Student Lettings and other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefit from a 1% discount on interest payments on all loans.
Wendy Hallas, relationship manager for Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking, said: “Premier Student Lettings’ development of this lovely old building demonstrates the thought and attention to detail that has gone into this project, creating a welcoming and comfortable property.
“When the team approached me with their business plan I could see that they’d spotted a great opportunity to offer a much-needed service in a prime location only a short walk away from the university.”
She added: “We are keen to work with property businesses and have a wide range of support and guidance that we can offer.
“Through FLS, we have lent £3.3bn since September, 2012, and we have pledged to lend £5bn to SMEs through the scheme this year.”