CityBlock commences work on Lancaster’s iconic Gillows building

CityBlock, has started work to transform the former Gillows showroom turned nightclub, into high-quality student accommodation.

The Grade II Listed Building, originally built in 1882, will retain a number of its existing features including stained glass windows, original pillars and a stunning staircase.

CityBlock has owned the building for over 20 years and is now looking forward to restoring the property alongside construction partner John Turner Construction Group, and designer of the scheme, SSHARC architects.

The scheme, due for completion in August 2019, will feature 96 beds in total – spread across a range of cluster flats and studio rooms.

Commenting on this, Trevor Bargh, CEO of CityBlock said: “We’re delighted to be able to restore a significant building that has been out of use for three years. We respect the heritage of the building and have incorporated the historic features in the design. We are excited to welcome students to the building in September 2019.  Student wellbeing remains a priority for CityBlock and the scheme has been designed with this in mind, with excellent amenities including a communal lounge, private dining room and quiet study area.”

Julian Haigh of John Turner Construction added: “We are extremely pleased to have been appointed as the main contractor to refurbish and repurpose this fine listed building on behalf of CityBlock Ltd. This unique development will provide luxury student accommodation in an iconic setting.”

Vicky Lofthouse, Chief Executive of the Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce said: “It’s great that local history is being preserved in a way that helps the future of the city. Students are an important part of the local economy and many either stay on to live and work or return later in life to set down roots.”

Susan Rutherford, Chair of Lancaster BID added: “Lancaster BID are delighted to see such an iconic building brought back into use whilst preserving its historic features, ensuring the building continues to be a valuable asset to our Historic City.”