Construction to get underway shortly as listed building receives a spectacular £1m renovation

A 3D render of the Grade II listed building which is undergoing a £1m refurbishment by Venaspace.

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: August 30, 2021 | Updated: 27th October 2023

One of Bournemouth’s oldest buildings is undergoing a complete overhaul costing around £1m to create a spectacular new business centre.

It’s more than a year since Venaspace announced the acquisition of the fifth building in its Bournemouth portfolio.

The Lodge, at 6 St Michaels Road, was built by the Freemasons in the 1800’s and has since been used as a ski shop and a soft play centre.

The ornate architectural building, in the heart of Bournemouth’s Triangle, is Grade II listed and has suffered years of neglect and water ingress.

The roof and integral ceiling had fallen into a serious state of disrepair which threatened many of the historical elements of the building.

The scope of work required was the largest and most challenging project Venaspace has ever taken on.

Its consultancy team of architects, Footprint Architects – also working on the Bobby’s building in Bournemouth – as well as heritage specialists and structural engineers have worked hard  to put plans in place, along with BCP Council.

They honour the heritage but also add a modern twist and extend the life of the building.

The plan is to transform The Lodge into a new business centre, with mezzanine floors in the offices to utilise the double height in the halls and include a members hub and coworking space on the lower ground floor.

There will also be a bar, meeting spaces and the other features associated with a Venaspace Members Hub.

Construction is shortly to get underway.

In the coming weeks, a specialist heritage consultancy from Bristol will use 3D scanners to record every detail of the ornate ceiling in the main hall ready for it to be reproduced.

The Lodge will then be ready for a brand new ceiling and roof which will finally make the structure watertight.

Venaspace hopes the project will encourage other landlords in the Triangle to follow suit.

Becca Clancy, Operations Director, Venaspace, pictured left, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be kick-starting the construction phase of this project having worked so hard planning during the height of the pandemic.

“Venaspace are at 100 per cent capacity across our portfolio in Bournemouth so we can’t wait to deliver another office space solution to local businesses.”

It’s hoped The Lodge will be open by the summer of 2022.

Venaspace is part of The Venator Group which also has two recruitment agencies – Venator Broadcast and Venator Recruitment – and celebrated its 15th birthday last month.

Venator was founded in Bournemouth by Alex Bonnet, a graduate from Bournemouth Uni.

Group turnover last year was £3.2m.

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