It has been considered an eyesore for at least 10 years but Manchester House has finally transformed into a modern family home.

Local builder Andrew Dunsford took up the challenge to restore the derelict building in Market Square.

Mr Dunsford said: “For years, everyone has been complaining about it being an eyesore. I managed to get hold of the keys and had a look around the place. I fell in love with it and that was it.”

Twelve months later and several sleepless nights, Mr Dunsford said he would not have been able to complete the project without local support.

“It’s been like a big community project. All the plasterers, plumbers, electricians and more; it was all local trades. I’m so grateful for their help.

“At first, we had diggers that were blocking the street at the most inappropriate times when everyone was going to work. Then everybody saw what we were doing and the response has been brilliant.”

Apart from its long history as a draper’s shop, Manchester House has more recently been a greengrocer’s, a television shop, an antique shop, a craft shop and finally a bread shop and cafe. During the mid-19th century, the building was used as a religious building. Despite the recent changes to the house, the original baptism well remains and has been carefully restored.

He said: “I felt it was important to keep all of its features retained. It’s a piece of local history – it’s amazing.”

For several years, residents pleaded for a compulsory purchase order to be made as the previous owner could not be tracked down. It was thought the building would need to be demolished. But after getting in touch with the owner, Mr Dunsford took the opportunity to restore it.

Mr Dunsford bought the building with the idea of turning it into a family home. Now, after years of uncertainty, the renovation is complete and has been put on the market.

“Hopefully a local family will buy it and Manchester House will be here for another 200 years.”