THE GROUP looking to reopen an Ashton cinema wants to convert a disused former bank into a bar/restaurant.
Andy Kleek, one of the men behind the scheme to bring the Metro back to life, has applied to Tameside Council to turn what was the Yorkshire Bank, on Market Avenue, into a new venue.
The two floors above the proposal, which will take up the basement and ground floor, would also be converted into three apartments.
And even documents supporting the plan described the current state of the building, which has stood empty since the beginning of last year, as ‘somewhat tired.’
If permission is given, an outdoor seating area will also be set up on Market Avenue, with canopies over it.
Opening hours will be from 10am until 2am, with no food or drink allowed outside after 11pm. Approval would also provide six full-time and 12 part-time jobs.
They also believed permitting this could led to further schemes in the area.
Documents state: “The application is one of a series of projects being undertaken in Ashton town centre by the applicant who has invested heavily in the town, including the purchase and redevelopment of the Metro Cinema.
“The property is vacant, somewhat tired and requires investment to meet current expectations and enable a more positive impact on the surrounding area.
“The premises was previously used as a bank (with offices on the first and second floors). The most recent occupant was Yorkshire Bank which closed in January 2022.
“The building has been vacant since.
“On the ground floor, there will be a central bar with seating around it. A range of seating will be provided including booth style seating and sofas, and there will also be a private hire space.
“At basement level, back of house facilities will be provided including male and female toilets, a beer cellar, spirit store, office and commercial kitchen.
“On part of the footway of Market Avenue, outside seating will be provided along the front of the building. This will comprise bench style tables and chairs, with fabric canopies with retracting roofs to provide all year round use and animate the exterior.
“The weight of the benches will ensure they cannot be moved by the public but could be relocated from the pavement if necessary without causing damage to flags.”
It is also claimed that having living accommodation above the bar/restaurant could speak a revival in Ashton town centre, which has struggled in recent years and is the subject of a major plan by Tameside Council.
Documents add: “Rather than having the upper floors remaining vacant and detracting from Ashton-under-Lyne town centre, conversion of the upper floors to residential will secure the benefits associated with increased footfall and activity by future residents, which will benefit other businesses in the area, improve safety and security through passive surveillance and act as a catalyst for further development.”
Tameside Council’s Speakers Panel (Planning) committee will decide whether to grant or refuse planning permission.