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Heritage is key to Tunstall’s future as iconic building to get new lease of life

Published: Monday, 16th January 2023

A preferred developer for the Grade ll Listed former Tunstall Library and Baths has been selected by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

The redevelopment of this historic building and local landmark for town centre living is a gamechanger for Tunstall.

Tunstall Library Development Ltd., headed up by local business man Stanley Yu and Staffordshire based Croft Architecture Ltd., has been appointed subject to formal contract agreements.

The plans to bring the former Library, Baths and Snooker Hall back to life include unique apartments in the Victorian building as well as new build. This will provide attractive town centre living for those wanting something a bit different and to be part of local history. The sensitive conversion into residential will help protect the unique heritage of Tunstall as well as bring people into the town centre to support businesses and future investment.

The development will accommodate a fitness space and on-site parking. Potential commercial uses for part of the property are being investigated which could be a café or community led initiative. The next stage is for the plans to be drawn up in more detail, including consultation with the community, to be submitted for planning approval later this year.

It is expected that during the construction phase the developer will use the services of over 120 local tradespeople and 20 local professional services companies for the design and development including apprenticeships and training for young people. On completion, following a total investment of around £8m, the high-quality homes and refurbishment will benefit the local area.

The project is able to go ahead with £3.35m investment from the government’s Levelling Up Fund. This was awarded to the council in 2021 to enable heritage-led regeneration across Stoke-on-Trent, helping to bring beautiful but disused buildings back into productive use and create new homes. This will help revitalise our towns and attract further investment.

Cllr Abi Brown, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said:

“This is another positive step to bring life back into Tunstall Town and create a vibrant and attractive place to live and work. Following from the successful redevelopment of Tunstall Town Hall, bringing another stunning historic building back into positive use will be great for the town and re-instate some of its former glory.

“Our towns are full of character and local pride is strong. Investing in our treasured historic buildings is helping to retain a connection to these once globally important centres of industry whilst re-inventing them to meet the needs of people today and in the future. This will encourage further investment and jobs as well as attractive places to live and enjoy.”

Carl Croft, director of Croft Architecture Ltd. said:

“We’re very much looking forward to conserving the historic buildings on this site and bringing this area of Tunstall back into productive use, in order to contribute to this town becoming a thriving local centre once again. We want to create high quality homes here, as well as spaces that can be enjoyed by the community of Stoke-on-Trent. This may include a conference space for business or other meetings, and a leisure facility with a swimming pool.

“It is an honour and a privilege that we have been selected, and we very much look forward to bringing these aspirations to life.”