WORK is well under way to breathe new life into the old House of Fraser building in Bournemouth town centre. 

Approval was given late last year to convert the abandoned Old Christchurch Road building into 129 premium en-suite student bedrooms. 

Fences have been put up around the site while workmen have been inside starting to turn the building into a livable place. 

Images from inside prior to the application’s approval show damp issues, broken windows and rubble from crumbling walls. 

Property development firm Carve Developments has said it hopes to get the accommodation up and running by the next academic year in September 2024. 

Bournemouth Echo:

It’s also been given a new name – Bright House – named after Bright’s of Bournemouth, founded in the town in 1871.  

Additionally, there will be 10 commercial units on the ground floor are expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2025, according to Goadsby. 

Having been empty since March 2022, House of Fraser was the last department store in Bournemouth town centre, having lost Beales in 2020 and Debenhams in 2021. 

Read more: Old House of Fraser unit has new name ahead of redevelopment

Bright’s of Bournemouth was the town’s oldest department store selling needlework and wool in the Arcade.     

The business was expanded into neighbouring shops and then an adjacent building.    

It was bought by JJ Allen and then House of Fraser, which branded it as Dingles, before it took the House of Fraser name in 2007.