Developer completes £4m Grade II-listed conversion

Built in the 1880s as the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Beechams, a Grade II-listed Merseyside building is transformed into a £4m mixed-used development. Tony McDonough reports

Beechams, Nicholson Group
The converted Beechams Building in St Helens town centre


Developer Nicholson Group has completed its transformation of the for Merseyside Beechams HQ into a £4m residential and commercial development.

Built in the 1880s, the Grade II-listed Beecham’s Building is a well known landmark in St Helens. Located on Westfield Street it was once the headquarters and factory of the pharmaceutical giant and a major employer in the town.

Later used by St Helens College the building has been developed into a mixed-use scheme of 18 residential apartments (seven one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom), a ground floor commercial space and a partial retention of offices.

Plans also included an alteration to the site’s vehicle access and minimal external alterations to facilitate the conversion.

One of the building’s standout features is a clock designed by architect HV Krolow in 1887. Nicholson Group is working to restore the workings of the clock with local historian and author 96-year-old Mary Presland on standby for the relaunch.

Nicholson Group chief executive, Paul Nicholson, worked closely with St Helens Council, Heritage and Rotary St Helens with a focus on retaining the site’s original features.

“This magnificent Grade II listed building in the town centre has now been rejuvenated by the group’s highly skilled and dedicated team after lying dormant,” said Paul.

“The retained offices now act as our HQ and concierge for our new residents with a unique opportunity for a discerning operator to occupy the commercial space.

“There were minimal external alterations, only external LED lighting to give a modern twist and bespoke replacement of all windows, which were made by hand on site by an artisan window craftsman, allowing for double and triple glazed units.

“Electric gates to create a gated residential community are to be installed shortly.”

This scheme also incorporates a parking area to the rear of the building accommodating 17 cars, cycle and motorcycle spaces.


Nicholson Group, Paul Nicholson, with historian Mary Presland at the Beechams Building


On a recent visit, members of Rotary St Helens and local historians visited the historic building highlighting how its completion stressed the importance of preserving local heritage.

Community heritage spokesman Paul Winstanley added: “The Beechams clock tower building on Westfield Street represents a transformative journey, transitioning from a historic pharmaceutical hub to a modern residential space.

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“The Nicholson Group’s dedication to preserving the building’s essence reflects a harmonious blend of past and present.

“The clock tower building now stands as a beacon of St Helens’ rich history, ready to embrace a vibrant future within the heart of the community.”

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