A GRADE II listed building that formerly housed a Lloyds Bank branch in Darlington is set to be turned into a new restaurant and apartments.

The building, on the corner of Skinnergate, has been bought by Leeds-based developer Gregory Projects who are submitting a planning application to refurbish the property and request permission to change its use.

The developer wants to provide leisure accommodation on the ground floor and basement, and apartments on the upper levels.

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The acquisition comes as Gregory Property Group is actively expanding its portfolio of developments and ventures into residential development following improved market conditions.

Director Richard Tovey said: “Whilst most of our ventures remain in Yorkshire we are not limited to seeking opportunities further afield.

“The area is a busy and vibrant part of town at the start of the pedestrianisation with a number of national restaurant operators already represented including Pizza Express, Joe Rigatoni and Uno Momento.

“We feel that the site pitch will appeal strongly to restaurant operators due to its double frontage at the junction of Skinnergate and Coniscliffe Road.

“There is also demand for inner city living and we hope to deliver five apartments.”

Gregory Property Group wants to improve the interior of the building and provide additional glazing to the front façade.

Subject to planning approval, the developer hopes that an early start can be made to the work.