Future of Corby’s Grosvenor House under scrutiny

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A monolithic building that has stood watch over Corby town centre for more than sixty years could become flats after a bid for European money to refurbish it failed.

The landmark Grosvenor House, which was originally the Strathclyde Hotel, was built in the 1950s and its upper floors are the town’s best surviving examples of the urban architecture of the time.

Owners Corby Council had been told that an outline bid for £1m of EU cash to modernise the building had been successful.

But their bid failed at the final hurdle and now the future of the building remains uncertain.

An officer report to this week’s Corby Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee said: “The council was informed in September that its bid for European Structural Investment Fund to refurbish Grosvenor House was not successful. This was predominantly due to changes in state aid law which prevented the council from using the value of the building as a contribution to the bid.

“This result was particularly disappointing given outline approval had been granted previously. Officers are now considering the future of Grosvenor House, including conversion for residential use.

“Despite the above news Officers continue to market the office space, achieving a recent letting to Stagecoach and two further leases agreed for a letting agent and recruitment company. Additionally Brats Day Nursery will be returning to St Marks Business Centre this month, which will bring further office space back to the market which may suit new and small businesses looking for a town centre location.”

Meanwhile, the authority hopes that the fit-out of the Corby Cube’s fourth floor will begin in January.

The top floor has been empty since the Cube was built after concerns over safety. Those issues look to have been resolved and the authority says the fit-out will provide four modern office suites for businesses.

A report to councillors said: “A number of parties have expressed interest in the space and it is intended that once the works commence a renewed marketing campaign is commenced. Elsewhere in the Cube it has been agreed with the Department for Works and Pensions that there is insufficient space in the One Stop Shop to accommodate the Job Centre.

“This was predominantly due to the number of desk spaces required, but also concern over the increase in footfall.”

There is a lovely old video of the Strathclyde Hotel from the 1980s available to watch here

Factfile:

The building originally opened as the Strathclyde Hotel in the about 1960. It had 41 bedrooms, eleven floors and was a three-star establishment.

It was the first stop for many steelworkers moving to Corby, and was home to a Save our Steel banner during the late 1970s.

However, it was shut down in the 1980s after Legionnaire’s disease was discovered there.

It was home to several nightclubs including Martine’s owned by Corby nightlife legend Bip Wetherell, and was later the home of Corby Council from 2000 after they moved from the civic building across the road which had structural problems. The majority of council functions were moved out of the building in 2010.

It stands 34m above ground level.