ONE of Middlesbrough’s grandest old buildings has found new life as a 21st Century business hub following a £1 million refurbishment.
The former Cleveland Club, which was once the National Provincial Bank, has reopened as Gibson House at Boho Four, offering office space in the town’s booming Boho zone.
Built in 1872, the Grade II-listed building has been renovated by Middlesbrough-based Green Lane Capital, run by brothers Andy and Chris Preston.
Just three months after the completion of the two-year restoration, 50% of Boho Four’s 17 offices of varying sizes have already been let – and Andy is confident the remainder will be quickly snapped up.
“It’s a landmark building, full of character,” he said. “When it came on the market, I was sure, with a sympathetic restoration, there’d be lots of interest because people like to work in interesting buildings – and that’s exactly how it has proved.”
After renaming the building Gibson House after architect John Gibson, who designed it and worked alongside Sir Charles Barry on the Houses of Parliament, Andy and Chris decided to tie it in with the Boho zone, the town’s thriving creative and digital area.
It means occupants of the old building enjoy all of the reception, networking, meeting room and café facilities at the nearby Boho One.
Andy said: “We spent a huge amount of money to ensure we sustained one of Middlesbrough’s true treasures, but I think we’ve created something of extraordinary value to the town.”
The facilities are appreciated by technology entrepreneurs Park End-born Kevin Mann and Rachel Burns from Consett, co-founders of new business Audacious.
Launched late in 2010, the five-strong business was among the first to move into the building when making the switch from Boho One at the start of May.
Rachel said she was very pleased with the move: “There’s such a rich heritage to the Boho Four building and both Andy and Chris are so respectful to the town’s history.”
Built on the site of the home of John Gilbert Holmes, one of Middlesbrough’s first shipbuilders, Gibson House at Boho Four began life as the National Provincial Bank in the 19th Century.
The building was renamed the Cleveland Club in 1948 when it became a gentleman’s club at what was then the heart of the town’s bustling commercial centre.