Office plan for historic landmark

One of Bradford’s most historic buildings is to be converted into offices.

The former Masonic Lodge of the Connaught Rooms in Manningham has been bought by Nirmal Singh Properties for an undisclosed figure after an unsuccessful auction where it had a £1.5 million guide price.

Nirmal Singh already owns the Commercial House development on Manningham Lane which has proved to a successful business centre.

Demand for office space in Commercial House is so strong that the company decided to open a similar development in the Connaught Rooms.

The company will now redevelop the building into serviced offices, while retaining the classic features of the Grade II-listed building.

Iqbal Singh Sekhon, who represented Nirmal Singh Properties in the purchase, said: “Demand for space in Commercial House has been so high we could have filled the property five times over.

“As a result, we are confident that the Connaught Rooms will prove to be a popular and successful venture.

“We hope it will help local business and create employment by providing them with an affordable base.

“We have already been in touch with some people from Leeds who are interested in the development.

“If it is successful it will not only help breathe new life into the building but it will help bring the two cities together.”

The historic building was opened in 1928 and features a marble and wood-panelled walls and an ornate sprung floor. The dining room has a magnificent stained glass window in the roof and the main temple, which housed 400 people, is wood panelled.

The property was offered for auction during the summer but failed to reach its reserve.

Jonathan O’Connor, who handled the sale for agents Eddisons, said: “Despite the property having outline planning permission for residential development the property proved challenging to sell due to its listed status and the fact that a great deal of the interior also needed to be kept intact. It is an absolute jewel of a building, everyone in Bradford should see it is so impressive.”

Nirmal Singh Properties already owns 80 properties in West Yorkshire including the Marlborough Cinema and Industry Mills in Bradford.

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