The council has put forward a plan to transform the concrete eyesore – Ambassador House in to a community and business led mixed use re-development.
This is part of £60,000 worth of measures aimed at boosting the local economy which is part of the regeneration business support package. This includes incentives offering new businesses 50 per cent rent subsidy for 18 months.
The plan is dependent on private equity company putting forward a planning submission to turn the dated and greying tower block Ambassador House in to 2/3 bed residential apartments. The unnamed interested party is in talks with Network Rail which owns the freehold of the 1960s building.
The white paper, produced by economic development officer Phil De Montmorency, says the council: “aims to work with ‘the acquirer’ of Ambassador House towards the retention of the first floor and possibly second dependent on demand as low cost business space”.
The proposals include tackling the uncared for forecourt with planting to soften the space, and to establish a Sunday market which would be managed from a community hub and co-located business space on the ground floor.
The paper calls for a feasibility study to gauge whether there is sufficient demand for a market and the viability of business usage on one or two floors at Ambassador House.
The council is also in discussions with the owner of the vacant unit 5/6 on the forecourt, formerly beauty salon Ellisium, to use it as an arts hub.