AN estate agency is expanding into a former butchers shop to give it a "new identity".

Frank Wright in Crouch Street, Colchester, closed in October last year after the business went into administration.

The Wright family sold the Frank Wright and Son butcher business about 11 years ago but continued to own the building freehold.

Residents and councillors alike wanted the building to get a new lease of life.

Now Palmer and Partners, which has a premises in St Johns Street, said they plan to move in.

John Palmer, managing director, said: "Having opened up 15 years ago in St Johns street we now have 20 staff that work from there, half on property sales and the other half on lettings, so we really needed more room.

"We chose the Frank Wright building for its great triple shop front and also as it hasn’t been renovated for a number of years.

"It means we can add our own identity on the building whilst retaining some of the old features.

"We did a similar thing to an old building in our offices in St Nicholas Street in Ipswich, and it has worked really well."

He said another reason why they were attracted to Crouch Street was because of the clientele.

He said there was a nice range of coffee shops and bars.

Mr Palmer added: "We are currently renovating the building and are planning to move in December when the market is traditionally quieter."

The building owners found themselves in trouble at the beginning of the year as Colchester Council environmental health officers were investigating the premises which had dead flies in the window.

The Wright family initiated a legal process which saw them get right of entry. Once inside they were able to deep clean the premises before selling it.