A historic site in Bath will be redeveloped to include student flats, if developer plans are approved. The Scala building in Oldfield Park currently houses a Co-op food shop and dance studio.
Local developers Rengen are proposing redevelopment of the site.
Its proposals include a new Co-op convenience store, refurbished space for the existing dance studio Freedom through Dance, as well as new residential units and ‘affordable housing’, plus parking.
Rengen is also proposing to create purpose-built student accommodation in a deal with Norland College.
The developer promises its plans will retain the historic Scala building and frontage – with major changes reserved for the rear extension built in the 1960s.
Rengen will be holding public exhibitions and opening a dedicated website for sharing plans and welcoming feedback.
The developer has an extensive portfolio of complex renovation and redevelopment projects throughout Bath, including the former Labour Exchange building on James Street West, Widcombe Social Club and the Bath Sea Cadets headquarters on St John’s Road.
CEO Iestyn Lewis said: “We couldn’t be more pleased to announce our partnership with the Co-op and Norland College for the redevelopment of Scala.
“We very much look forward to welcoming Norland College students to the community as well as providing a new anchor Co-op store, dance studio and a hub of much-needed open market and affordable accommodation.
“We understand the importance of the Scala building both to the community and as one of Bath’s historic gems.
“Our plans will ensure the historic core of the building is carefully renovated whilst the 1960s rear extension will be redeveloped to create modern, fit-for-purpose living space.”
Norland College, which was founded in 1892, is known for training nannies for royalty, as well as the rich and famous.
Its students study for a BA (Hons) degree in Early Years Development and Learning alongside the prestigious Norland Diploma.
Dr Janet Rose, principal of Norland College, said: “We are delighted to be in discussions with Rengen and see this as a very exciting opportunity for the college.
“With the Scala site being situated in such close proximity to Norland College, it will allow our students to have better access to the campus and its facilities during their studies.”
A public exhibition will be held at Hayesfield Girls School at Upper Oldfield Park on September 13 between 5.30pm and 8pm and on September 14 between 10am and 4pm.
Rengen says that members of the public will be welcomed by its team ready to answer any questions.
Consultation information will also be available on a dedicated website at scalabath.co.uk from September 13.
The Scala building opened as Oldfield Park Cinema in the 1920s and closed as the Scala Cinema in 1960. In between it was caught in the Bath Blitz.
It became a Co-op in 1962 and has remained so since.
Source: Somerset Live