Orient Building

Orient Building

The Orient Building stands on the corner of Station Road and Copse Road at Fleetwood. It’s now accommodation for students at Fleetwood Nautical College.

In recent years a number of different uses have been proposed and explored. They included a tram museum and a community building, but none of these plans secured sufficient funds to be taken forward.

A planning application was submitted in March 2014 for the Orient Building, for prior notification of change of use from B1 (office) to C3 (dwellinghouses).

History of The Orient Building

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It’s the former Custom House, and was also once a trawler net factory. The Orient Building was built in the early 20th century, sub-divided into three buildings.

The Custom House occupied the corner of Lofthouse Way and Station Road. The middle of the building was once a navigation school and the eastern part of the building on the corner of Station Road and Siding Road was used as an employment exchange.

The building has also been used as a fish curing works and a magistrates court.

The Orient Building – before renovation…

Orient Building, before renovation in 2014
Orient Building, before renovation in 2014
Orient Building, before renovation in 2014
Details on the Orient Building, before renovation in 2014

Local historian Juliette Gregson shared the following photos which were taken around the back of the Orient Building. We’re not sure (from memory) whether these are the actual Orient Building itself, or the buildings to the rear of it. Do you know?

When renovation begins…

The Orient Building, when renovation began in April 2016
The Orient Building, when renovation began in April 2016

An interesting building

It’s a two storey building, built of red brick with sandstone lintels and a flat roof.

The building was assessed for listing in 2008, but didn’t meet the criteria for the following reasons:

  • The building is architecturally modest with little external evidence of its former usage, other than lettering executed in glazed brickwork on its Lofthouse Way façade.
  • The building’s interior has been largely stripped out and vandalised leaving few surviving original or early fixtures and fittings and little evidence for its previous usage.
  • The building is appropriately protected, being included within the Fleetwood Conservation Area.

Some of this information was researched from the Pastscape website which you might find interesting. It’s an English Heritage website and public archive.

Add what you know

Do you know anything else about the history of this interesting building? Even better, have you got any old photographs?

Either leave a comment below, or email your information/photos to jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk. Full credit will be given.

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