Rooms get new Swedish tenants

The Assembly Rooms, Lytham.
The Assembly Rooms, Lytham.

A 140-year-old Swedish bank has given an historic Lytham charitable organisation a welcome cash boost.

Handelsbanken is about to open a new branch at the landmark Assembly Rooms in Lytham – creating five new jobs.

The bank has moved into the first floor on a 10-year lease from landlords Lytham Town Trust Ltd.

Established in 1900, the Trust, a registered charity responsible for the management of the Assembly Rooms, Dicconson Terrace, is also owner of Lytham Hall.

The link up will provide supporting income for the Trust. Preston based commercial property consultants Robert Pinkus & Co, who acted on behalf of the Trust, said the move would be Handelsbanken’s first branch on the Fylde coast and the 16th in the North West. Other branches include Manchester, Preston, Kendal, Blackburn, Wigan and Liverpool.

Trust Chairman David Gill explained: “The Assembly Rooms is there for community use and with most community things they run at a loss and need to be subsidised, so we let the offices, they occupy two thirds of the upper floor, on a commercial basis and that rent helps to subsidise the operation and maintenance of the whole building.”

The premises became vacant when previous occupants Arena Publishing moved out at the end of May last year.

Mr Gill said the commercial income was “vital”.

“I think we were just fortunate they (Handelsbanken) were looking for suitable premises.

The Assembly Rooms is an iconic building in Lytham.

It’s in an excellent position and they were very pleased to find premises suitable for all they were looking for.”

Founded in 1871 Handelsbanken is one of Sweden’s leading banks. It has been operating in the UK since 1982. The Assembly Rooms were created as part of the development of Lytham Baths after its closure in 1987. The Lytham Town Trust operates it on a 125-year lease from Fylde Council.