work will start shortly on a £500,000 scheme to convert unloved bedsit flats into spacious apartments for older people.

Chorley Community Housing (CCH) has decided 20 flats at Arcon House in Coppull, built in the 1960s, are to undergo a radical transformation.

CCH’s director of operations, Richard Houghton, said: “Lots of bedsit flats were built by landlords in the 1960s, but they’ve gone out of fashion.

“Arcon House is a classic example of this.

“We’ve got 12 empty bedsits and no one wanting to live in them because nowadays people want larger accommodation.

“So we’ve looked at whether conversion is a realistic option and been able come up with an innovative solution to the problem. “By knocking two bedsits together we can create a large one bedroom flat suitable for an older person or an older couple.”

Project manager Kerry Schumaker is overseeing the work on behalf of CCH.

She said: “Where we have two empty bedsit flats together, we are starting work in early March to convert them.

“The intention is to have a rolling programme of two-into-one conversions as and when we get a pair of bedsit flats coming empty together in the scheme.”

Richard Houghton, added: “The finished scheme will see 20 bedsit flats converted into 10 large one bedroom flats, each with separate living room, kitchen and bathroom.

“We want to ensure that good quality sheltered housing remains available for older residents in Coppull.

“Where a technical solution can be achieved, we will invest in our properties to ensure that our accommodation meets 21st century standards.”