Across Britain, more than 600,000 buildings lie unused and unloved, and nearly a third of them are commercial. In this brand new series, architect George Clarke meets the brave people taking on these ambitious projects, preserving our country’s architecture by breathing new life into it. The times that we live in are making buildings redundant – from high street banks and shops to agricultural buildings – and putting them at risk of being demolished or snapped up by big developers. However, recent relaxations in planning laws have made it easier to change the use of these local landmarks, transforming them into family homes which celebrate their past. In this first episode, George meets Cornwall couple Richard and Sarah, who used their local high street bank for 20 years before it shut. A grand Victorian Grade II listed building with serious architectural pedigree, it was boarded up and put in for auction. Seeing the potential to turn it into a unique family home, the couple offered a sealed bid of £50,000 and were gobsmacked when they won it. Paying such a small sum for this local landmark is almost daylight robbery, but will converting it send them spiralling into the red?
George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations – Wednesday 9pm on Channel 4