TRANSFORMING one of Newtown’s oldest town centre buildings into a bed and breakfast will help attract tourism and business opportunities into the town, say its owners.

Work has been completed on an extension and renovation project at Parkers House in Shortbridge Street.

This has seen the upper floors transformed into an eight-bedroom bed and breakfast and the existing café/restaurant on the ground floor being refurbished by the owners, Tina and Mike Lovatt.

Tina said: “Newtown and the Severn Valley area has so much to offer and with the completion of the town bypass later this year there is an opportunity to promote the benefits of the area, which visitors will discover.

“The upper floors of the property had been in a state of disrepair for over 25 years and we wanted to bring them back to life.

“Working with Adam Watkins at Hughes Architects, we have managed to extend the building, creating a new breakfast room on the ground floor and eight good quality bedrooms on the upper floors.”

The property dates back to the 19th century when it was first used as a haberdashery known as London House.

In the 1960s it became part of the famous National Milk Bar café chain until it was turned into Lloyd’s and later Parkers.

It was then bought by the present owners in 2013 and transformed into one of the most popular eateries in the town.

“Our intention had always been to refurbish the whole property and introduce a bed and breakfast. It’s a significant investment in the town centre and one which will see us attracting visitors into the town, as well business users,” added Tina. “Parkers House is a key building in the town centre and we believe its transformation will help attract more investment into the town centre.”

Adam Watkins, of Hughes Architects, said: “Tina and Mike wanted to bring back many of the original features as part of the renovation which we incorporated into the design.

“We’ve also created additional space with an extension at the rear of the building that has created the breakfast room area and new toilet facilities for the restaurant.

“The results are amazing and Tina’s attention to detail in the furnishings has added to the quality of the workmanship in the new rooms.” at what is a key location in the town centre.”