A NEW bid is being made by a financial services firm to convert the remainder of a Ramsbottom landmark into offices.

Bosses at Rosebridge successfully transformed the former Grant Arms into a showpiece headquarters, when they relocated their operations from Bolton.

Rosebridge boss Phillip Rose's first financial office had been nearby.

Question marks had previously been swirling around the future of the grade II listed premises, whose former landlords once inspired the Cheerbyle Brother characters in Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby.

Now a new application has been lodged with Bury Council to overhaul the northern end of the same location for similar purposes.

Architects say their intention is to do little to the external fabric of the building, which has served as a hotel and nightclub. Some internal work would be required to install a new staircase and remove an internal wall, to create modern offices, planning officers have been told.

The scheme would see four parking spaces created to the rear of the building, known as Top o'th Brow, and bollards would protect other spots on Market Place, which would be available generally at weekends.

A spokesman for Equilibrium Architects, for the applicants, said: "The northerly portion of the former Grant Arms Hotel is no longer viable as a hotel and is now vacant and falling into disrepair.

"The application proposals represent a sensitive conversion and restoration of the building to create high quality office space.

The proposals will therefore ensure the long term conservation of the northerly part of the former Grant Arms by providing it with a viable new use, ensuring that it continues to have a prominent role in maintaining the character of the Ramsbottom Conservation Area."