PLANS to convert a former bank into a cocktail bar and concert hall have been given the go-ahead – despite opposition from some Amesbury residents.

Nathan and Hannah Muirhead, who run Keystone Entertainment, have been granted planning permission to transform the HSBC bank in High Street almost two years after its closure in February 2016.

The couple were given the green light by Wiltshire Council today (Wednesday) and work is expected to start next week.

Mr Muirhead said: “We are super excited. The approval is great news and it means we can start working within a week.”

The pair are planning to initially invest around £80,000 to create the bar and a performance area, with more work to be carried out next year.

“We are retaining the bank theme and we will be replacing things in there to create an industrial look as well, so it will be an old school bank with an industrial twist,” Mr Muirhead added.

“In the first year when we open we will have invested in the main banking area which will be turned into the cocktail area and production space, then we are looking at building a VIP area where people to have an exclusive experience.”

Work is expected to take around 10 weeks, and once complete the bar will be opened under the name ‘The Bank’ following popular demand.

“The name was quite popular with people and it kept being referred to as The Bank so we decided to stick with it. We had to apply to the Financial Services Authority to keep the name but luckily we got approval.”

Along with the cocktail bar, the couple are looking at plans to use the underground vault, which Mr Muirhead said will be “quite unique”.

“We are also looking at using the second floor which could provide space for community groups like local baby groups.”

The proposals were initially met with mixed views. Amesbury Town Council rejected the application, but have now agreed to work with Mr and Mrs Muirhead.

The application also received backlash from many residents will some saying the bar would attract create additional noise and crime in the town.