A derelict Manchester city centre building has been bought by Beech Holdings in a £3.5 million deal.

The company will now focus on converting the 24,000 sq ft Salisbury House into around 90 high-spec carbon neutral apartments.

Salisbury House, once occupied by Manchester council and subsequently Transport for Greater Manchester, has been vacant and neglected for more than five years.

It has become an eyesore, according to Beech Holdings’ boss Stephen Beech, after being subjected to graffiti and vandalism.

The 38-year-old said he is delighted to be the building’s new owner and is looking forward to breathing new life into it.

He also revealed that all the apartments have already been pre-let to young professionals, many of whom will graduate from the city’s universities this summer.

“Buying this building is a big result for Beech,” said Stephen, known as ‘Manchester’s Restoration Man’.

“We’ve wanted to buy Salisbury House for a while and it has happened after three hard weeks of negotiations, which means we can bring it back to life.”

A planning application has now been accepted for external alterations, such as new cladding and windows and façade replacements.

The rest of the building has permitted development rights, meaning Beech’s staff of more than 80 people can get straight to work without having to submit a planning application.

Stephen, the owner of £65m worth of residential housing stock in Greater Manchester which includes 16 significant city centre buildings, added: “We own 90 Princess Street, Fifth Avenue nightclub and now Salisbury House which all neighbour each other.

“It’s worked out well, as when we marketed 90 Princess Street it was massively oversubscribed with people wanting to rent our apartments there. We kept those people on our database and they have already made their move to ensure they have a home in Salisbury House. It’s fantastic, as it’s fully let already.

“People will be living there within a year, which shows how quickly we work.”

The apartments in Salisbury House will be high design, ‘Energy A-rated’, boast heat pumps and heat recovery systems.

Stephen added: “We are excited to have bought this building. The demand for housing in Manchester is very high at the moment. Students want to stay here after graduating and enjoy a good start to their professional careers in high-end city centre apartments which is what Salisbury House will offer.

“This will also help push along Manchester council’s plan of building 25,000 homes over the next decade.”