DELAYS have hit the £1 million transformation of a landmark Keighley building.

Unforeseen structural issues scuppered hopes of new commercial units at the former Victoria Hotel site opening ahead of Christmas.

But the company behind the redevelopment says that whilst the setback was "a big blow", it has pledged its commitment to the scheme.

And new photos have been issued showing work in progress inside the premises, on the corner of Cavendish Street and East Parade.

Work on the project – to create four ground-floor business premises, with apartments above – began early this year.

It is being carried out by Keiton Construction.

The original hope was for the commercial units to be complete by the autumn.

However, Rob Leighton ­– for site owner Worth Valley Developments – said it hadn't been "plain sailing".

"We discovered some structural problems in the late spring – they were fairly quickly put right by investment in some new steels and only caused a minor delay," he said.

"But in August, on digging-up the concrete floors, our team of builders discovered major issues and realised that almost all the joists were rotten and would need replacing. This was a big blow for us all and has been a major bump in the road.

"We'd aimed to have the commercial units open before Christmas so that the new tenants could benefit from the seasonal trade. However, after discovering the flooring issue, it was essential that the builders were allowed time to replace all the joists.

"We were gutted about the delays. People are so excited about the project and we didn’t want to let them down."

Rob says the team is now hopeful of no further setbacks and that business tenants could be in situ by early spring, with holiday apartments above ready for occupancy shortly afterwards.

He added: "It’s a cliche, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – and the new works we've done have made the building stronger than ever. We are dedicated to preserving the building and investing in it for the long term.

"There is lots of good news. Passers-by will notice that the windows are almost all done and we have managed to restore the stained glass.

"The corner door space has been reinstated, which will be the entrance to a bakery.

"Internally, many new walls have gone in. The original ornate columns have been stripped and are looking amazing – we are hoping they will be a key feature of a new bar."

Among the new tenants will be Grind and Groove Records, which is relocating from a small unit in Cavendish Street. Its shop will be accessed by the door that was formerly the entrance to Vicki’s nightclub.

Grind and Groove is owned by Gareth and Kerry Beck.

Kerry said: "We knew the risks around moving into an old building undergoing major renovation and the setbacks are a bit frustrating, but we just love the building and are so pleased to be a part of the project – despite the delays. It will be a huge step up for our business and we feel that the Victoria development and our store will be a key part of rejuvenating East Parade and this part of town."

Another new tenant is Bec Severs, of Three Little Birds Bakery, which will be occupying the corner unit.

Bec, who is currently running her successful business from home, said: "We already have a team of three, so space is tight and a domestic kitchen is limiting further growth of the business. For instance, we want to offer cake-making classes, workshops and parties, but we just can’t do it from our current location. We are eager to spread our wings!"

Rob added: "We are hoping the Vic will offer a new home for local independent businesses as well as attracting overnight visitors with the holiday lets and will be a catalyst, bringing new shoppers and tourists into the town."

Updates on the project are provided on social media, @thevictoriakeighley.