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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Carlisle bank to be transformed into upmarket cafe bar

An upmarket cafe bar, McQueens, is set to open in Carlisle’s Devonshire Street.

Businessman Ron Wood has applied for planning permission to convert the old Santander bank at 18-22 Devonshire Street, which he bought last May.

He already runs Le Gall on the opposite side of the road, and the city’s Border Rambler and Arroyo pubs.

His previous ventures include the former Freedom nightclub in Lancaster Street.

The planning application is to convert the ground floor and basement, creating a bar with seating area, and to give the outside a timber-panelled frontage with an awning or canopy.

The aim is to open in April.

The building has been empty since the Santander branch closed in 2012.

It went on the market immediately with a guide price of £700,000 but sold at auction a year later for £216,000.

Mr Wood said at the time: “There are two distinct areas for nightlife in Carlisle – Botchergate and the Devonshire Street/Lowther Street area, which seems to be catering for a more affluent, 30-plus age group.

“As we have Le Gall across the road, we will be looking to do something that complements that.”

The building has 4,810sq ft of accommodation over four floors and a basement.

Planning consent to convert the upper floors into six apartments expired in 2010 but could be renewed.

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