MOSSLEY’S last bank is poised to become the town’s newest bar.
The Royal Bank of Scotland branch at Old Brow has stood empty since serving its last customers in September 2015.
Four years later the striking building on the corner of Stamford Road and Abney Road has a new tenant with exciting plans for its future.
With the necessary planning approval in place and in possession of his alcohol licence, local man Dermot Gill is forging ahead to transform the lower floors of the century old building and help boost the local economy.
The Gillery is set to open in early September as a bistro café bar and live music venue.
“There has been a lot of rumour and speculation what was going to open, even one suggestion of a lap dancing club,” said family man Dermot.
“I can assure everyone we are aiming to provide a family friendly environment serving good food and real ales.
“And don’t expect thrash metal. Music will be funk or acid jazz and plenty of acoustic sets.
“It has taken longer than I initially envisaged to get to this stage but with everything now in place, work can really start towards an opening date in early September.
Correspondent reporter Trevor Baxter has enjoyed a behind the scenes tour; areas most definitely out of bounds until four years ago when the landmark premises was an RBS bank.
“I used to work in the industry a few years ago,” explained Dermot.
“I was a relief manager around Greater Manchester for Bass and helped them turnaround a number of their places.
“I was also temporarily in charge of Lammars in the Northern Quarter in Manchester.
“So, I have always had some involvement in the trade but wanted a project of my own.
“I did look all through the North West and Yorkshire and kept driving past this place on numerous occasions.
“Then I realised the potential, especially its location near to the train station and looked more into it.”
Dermot is looking to keep as many of the existing features as possible.
“The aim is for a shabby chic, industrial, retro style of interior, “ he explained.
“And because there are quite a few local artists based at Woodend Mill, I’m hoping they will come
on board to put works round the building.
“We want to get as much local involvement as possible, including putting on local acts.”
With Mossley station only a few strides away, Dermot expects many of his future customers to be commuters and weekend visitors.
“Unlike Uppermill, the station isn’t a 15-minute walk away. There is a car park just over 50 metres away and anyone who has a meal with us I will reimburse their car parking fee.”
So, why the Gillery?
“I was thinking of Mossley Gallery because of all the local artists at Woodend,” explained Dermot.
“But my daughter and my dad got their heads together and came up with The Gillery.”
Dermot is currently in the process of staff recruitment and intends running training courses through Tameside College.
“I will also be looking at anyone doing an apprenticeship getting their British Institute of Innkeepers or full trained up in cellar management so that I can get a holiday,” he said.
“Basically, I won’t be having any time off for the next 18 months to two years!
“But it is exciting and I hope Mossley will enjoy and appreciate what we are trying to do.”
• The Gillery will be open Monday to Thursday and Sunday, 11am-11pm and 11am-12midnight on Friday and Saturdays.