From boarded up to Crowning glory

An abandoned office block will once again contribute to the life of Banbury town centre as a council-owned regeneration project comes to fruition.

Published: Monday, 16th March 2020

Crown House on Bridge Street had stood derelict and unloved for 26 years, but now, house-hunters are visiting and preparing to move into the 50 attractive, modern apartments that have been created there. 
An investment of over £8m by Cherwell District Council has seen the building extended and remodelled from top to bottom. The one and two-bedroom homes benefit from solar panels on the roof, communal outdoor space, and the train station just a short walk away.
Cllr Lynn Pratt, lead member for economy, regeneration and property, said: “This is another important step forward for Cherwell’s regeneration of Banbury town centre. Crown House has always had great potential, and we’ll start to see that realised as people start to make these fantastic new apartments their home. 
“It will add to the buzz and vitality of the town to see the building brought back into use, and alongside Castle Quay Waterfront, it’s another important piece of the jigsaw of our plans for securing the future of Banbury town centre.”
The restoration of the prominent building was begun in 2017. Cherwell District Council took the project on later that year, purchasing the company that owned the empty structure and investing in the works in progress. The extension allowed Cherwell to add a further 14 homes onto the 36 that were originally envisaged.
The council has a track record redeveloping brownfield sites in the town for housing. Homes at the Build! team’s Hope Close development are now sold out, and their work at the nearby Admiral Holland site is also nearing completion. 
The first residents are expected to move in to Crown House at the end of the month.