A FORMER printer’s workshop could become a new community heritage and archive centre.
Saddleworth Historical Society has submitted plans to transform the premises at Holly Bank on Kinders Lane, Greenfield.
If successful, the distinctive building will according to documents in support of the proposals:
“Provide an important research facility for the people of Saddleworth and beyond who are interested in Saddleworth history.”
The ground floor of the printer’s shop – vacant for more than 20 years – will be used to store archives and for general research.
The Historical Society established in 1966, currently houses material in a small room at Saddleworth Museum in Uppermill.
The first floor will be used as a meeting room and for presentations for small groups.
An external lift to the rear is included in the details for visitors with mobility issues.
Holly Bank stands in the Ladhill Lane conservation area. Original Victorian sash windows will be restored but no significant external alterations are proposed.
Saddleworth Parish Councillor Max Woodvine has toured the building and said: “It will be a great facility.
“It is still very much a shell but it is easy to imagine what it will be like.
“Upstairs there will be a conference space with panoramic views of Wharmton Hill.
“Downstairs, in another part of the Victorian section (of the building) there will be a study space for people to use with computers and tables, books etc.
“There will also be an archive room for all the documents owned by SHS. Some of the maps will go on public display and the building is going to be energy efficient to save on running costs.”
A separate flat is being extensively refurbished and does not for part of the planning application.
Other information submitted to Oldham Council planners states: “SHS attracts membership locally, nationally and across the world, especially from people wishing to trace their ancestry.
“At a local level the Society provide access to is extensive archive and welcomes visitors to undertake their own research.”
The proposed resources centre will operate during typical office hours including the weekend he first floor meeting room will be used during the evening for occasional meetings and presentations.”
Due to a lack of off-street parking visitors “will be encouraged to arrive on foot, public transport or by car share.”
Neighbourhood consultation ends on September 17, 2020 with a determination deadline of October 8, 2020.
For more details of application search OMBC planning website www.oldham.gov.uk/planning using reference PA/345293/20.