WORK to restore a 16th century Pershore building into a retail and art store is nearing completion.

The Grade 2 listed building in Pershore High Street has been restored by local business woman Sasha Hyde and her specialist contractors, alongside dedicated teams from Wychavon District Council.

It is set to become Persora, a three storey, double front property, which at its front will house retail space, with a secondary gallery space on the first floor hosting residential artists and sculptors.

Now following significant investment work on the building, which originally had timber-framing and was once a house, is nearly finished.

Miss Hyde said: "Wychavon District Council has been invaluable in their advice and guidance throughout the whole process. Many people are put off purchasing a listed building but the support we have received has made the entire process completely clear-cut and we have learnt a lot throughout the duration of the project.

"There are some beautiful areas within the building that have been restored and kept visible for visitors to the project to see including original lath that will be sealed with glass; and beautiful plaster cornices in the ground floor space are among just some of the features.

"We have invested a lot of our own personal money and time in ensuring that the building retains is historical significance, which will provide a new destination for retail and arts in Wychavon; and needless to say, we are really proud of it."

Celia Biolcati, conservation officer at Wychavon District Council, added: "We’re always very keen to work with people repairing and bringing listed buildings back to use, aiming to make the process as straightforward as possible.

"It’s fantastic that this wonderful building has been so carefully adapted and brought back to use which would in turn benefit Pershore High Street, also good news for the economy. We wish Persora all the best with their business venture and thank them for working so closely with us."