New lease of life for Victorian arcade

A DEVELOPER is planning to turn a Victorian shopping arcade in Ashton into a business centre.

Manchester-based Jersey Street Properties, led by Jake Ezair, has secured a £1m grant from the European Regional Development Fund which it will match to refurbish Clarence Arcade in Stamford Street.

The plan involves converting the building, which it already owns, into offices with high speed broadband, meeting rooms and conference facilities.

Clarence Arcade was built in 1894 and was Tameside’s only covered Victorian shopping arcade. But its fortunes have waned in recent years and it is now empty.

Jersey Street’s managing director Jake Ezair said: “We see huge potential in Ashton and our substantial investment in transforming this beautiful building in to a state-of-the-art business centre is a testament to our confidence.”

Tameside Council leader Cllr Kieran Quinn said: “This amount of investment and external funding is fantastic news for the borough, as well as helping to restore an attractive and historic building it will bring opportunities for enterprise and employment.”

Work on the development will start in July, and it should be open in the spring.