WORK to transform the former Shipley's Luxury Bingo Club in Redditch into new shops, restaurants and other facilities is 'progressing well.'

Following the latest government guidance, developers have been able to start stripping the interior of the ex-bingo hall on Alcester Street in preparation for its remodelling.

The site is currently vacant, save for the popular Rilys Indian restaurant, and will be revitalised with new retail and restaurant units on its two street-facing frontages.

Part of the ground floor, the rear and upstairs of the building will be converted to a new self-storage concept called StorMe.

Chris Evans, managing director at contractors Larnook, said: “We’ve got an experienced team on site that can undertake the work safely, cleanly and quickly.

“Our aim now is to deliver a first class building for our client and for the people of Redditch. When we’re done I’ll be celebrating with the team over a curry at Rilys.”

Mark van Adrichem, operations director of StorMe, the building’s principal occupier, said he was delighted with progress.

He said: “This will be the first facility for StorMe. We’ll be providing managed storage services for business, residents and the public sector in Redditch and see growing demand for this, particularly given the scale of new residential development in the town.”

StorMe also struck a deal with the neighbouring Palace Theatre to improve management of the car park to the rear, ensuring better access for trucks delivering stage props and extra parking spaces for key theatre staff.

Christian Yates of StoreAway, which is advising the site owners, said: “The theatre’s success matters as it draws people to the immediate area and sustains its buzz.

“The future of the High Street after lockdown lies with independent operators. They bring colour, variety and specialism and Redditch has an appetite for this as much as anywhere else.”