Like a phoenix from the flames, Bridport’s Edwards Tower building is set to reopen to tenants following more than £1million worth of repairs.
A major blaze devastated the building in July 2018 and the building’s owners have faced an uphill struggle to bring it back into use.
St Michael’s Trading Estate manager Martin Ridley told The West Dorset Magazine: “The programme for reinstatement (of the building) has had delay upon delay due mainly to long and complex negotiations between ourselves, brokers, insurers, loss adjustors, quantity surveyors and contractors among others. The Edwards Tower Building is high profile and is a well-known landmark in Bridport. It housed more than 20 tenants and six of them have been long term displaced and had to urgently find alternative premises.”
Mr Ridley added: “It’s been a long road back for us as landlords and for our long-suffering tenants but we are now able to make contact with the many interested parties to say that we are now able to schedule in a series of viewing open days for prospective tenants.
“We’re doing this as the last fixings are being completed by our electrical contractors with, ironically, the new fire alarm being the last piece of work to be completed.
“The reinstatement work has cost more than £1million pounds but both Bridport and St Michael’s can now lay claim to have the first new multi occupancy commercial spaces to be available in the town for probably 20 years.
“The newly restored building will offer a little under 6,000 square feet across three floors comprising 11 studios and offices.”
He added that prospective tenants will have the ‘added benefit’ of becoming part of the ‘thriving and buzzing’ St Michael’s community with its mix of more than 100 businesses.
Mr Ridley concluded: “It’s been a nightmare journey but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Part of the difficulty has been to make sure a building originally constructed at the turn of the century complies with modern building regulations and health and safety guidelines.”
More work is due to be completed to complete the overall development and regeneration of the estate aimed at attracting visitors from all over the country.