THE former Brays building could be open in time for Christmas trade, according to the architect in charge of the change in the building's use.

Nick Carroll Architects, based in Worcester, is working with the buyer to bring fresh life to the empty Brays, in Worcester Road, Malvern.

Mr Carroll said: “The development is progressing well with the hope to have the first commercial occupants in for the pre Christmas trade.”

“We have overseen a complete basement renovation for the new restaurant and deli that Faun are moving into and we are excited about what it will bring to that part of the town.”

“To continue the re-development we have recently put in for planning to add additional apartments to the Brays building. We have had some serious obstacles to overcome including re-siting a substation and building dedicated bat roosts but both of which are well under way."

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Brays was one of Malvern's oldest shops, opening in 1895, but closed in January when its owner and managing director both retired.

Richard Simmonds director of the project said: “I am delighted with the progress of the work and exited to see the local independent shops, deli and cafe open before Christmas. Nick Carroll and his team have done a wonderful design job and completely converted the basement to enable it to become a real family friendly venue.”

“The next phase of the project involves the full refurbishment of the old Brays building upper floors to provide 15 luxury apartments, which will be available for sale soon. Nick Carroll Architects have made a great design job to include stunning Severn Valley views from each of the main living areas and the whole scheme is going to contribute significantly to the regeneration of the this key part of Great Malvern”