An historic Whitehaven building is to be given a new lease of life after the borough council approved plans for it to be converted into apartments.

The former Cumberland Electrical Wholesalers retail space and warehouse on Duke Street currently lies empty.

But the building will be brought to life again with proposals outlining a plan for the renovation and conversion of the site.

In planning documents released by Copeland Borough Council, the conversion of the vacant and increasingly derelict electrical wholesalers to residential accommodation will enable the “repair and refurbishment of the heritage asset and is a financially viable proposal for the reuse of the building and site”.

The plans are to convert the building into 12 one-bedroom apartments.

They also includes a commitment to retain original features “where possible and where not practical for the new layout to replicate the detailing and features in new construction”.

The building in its setting – near the Grade II Listed Somerset House – is recognised locally and sits along a protected vista within the Conservation Area.

No major works to the building’s façade are envisioned, save for the replacement of the existing windows with suitably detailed but more thermally efficient heritage-styled sash windows to match the existing ones.

Since being left unoccupied, building has suffered from substantial water damage.

This has caused extensive internal damage to the walls, floors fixtures and fittings.

The planning documents also outline a plan for the apartments to be operated with mixture of short-term lets alongside private residential properties.

In Copeland Borough Council’s decision documents, it outlined that the scheme fell in line with its wider plan for housing in the region.

The documents stated: “The Local Planning Authority has acted positively and proactively in determining this application by assessing the proposal against all material considerations, including planning policies and any representations that may have been received, and subsequently determining to grant planning permission in accordance with the presumption in favour of sustainable development as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.”