Plans have been submitted to transform the former Bolton Magistrates' Court, which forms part of the town's historic Le Man Crescent, into an 87-bedroom hotel.
The development is being brought forward by Beechlane Investments, which is also behind the multimillion-pound, mixed-use Trinity Gateway development in the town centre. The hotel will be operated by Hospitality Associates under "an internationally famous hotel brand" through a franchise agreement.
The Grade II-listed Le Mans Crescent was built between 1932 and 1939 as civic offices for the council. As well as the magistrates' court the crescent also housed the former police station for the town and council offices, and is currently home to Bolton Museum, Art Gallery, Central Library and Aquarium, which will all remain.
The planning application will be considered in the coming weeks by Bolton Council's planning committee and, should permission be granted, conversion works could begin next year.
The building's original architect, Bolton-based Bradshaw Gass & Hope, is working as heritage consultant. The court's listed façade will remain untouched, while some internal areas are to undergo a sensitive redesign process. Remodelling of the building's internal spaces will be led by architects 3DReid and P4 Planning is acting as planning consultant.
Alec Colbeck, development director at Beechlane Investments, said: "We are very pleased to have the opportunity and responsibility to lead this sensitive redevelopment which will bring a new dynamic to the town centre and put the building to a new, appropriate use."
Kevin Haygarth, co-founder of Hospitality Associates, added: "The building displays all of the grandeur you would want from a hotel operator's perspective. We are determined to bring in a hotel brand which reflects that splendor and quality.
"We are close to agreeing an operating brand which is contemporary without being stuffy and will have significant appeal to attract people from a wide catchment area."
Beechlane Investments was advised on the transaction by Colliers International.
Marc Finney, head of hotels and resorts consulting at Colliers, said: "This announcement signals a step change for accommodation supply in Bolton and a significant addition to the quality end of the market."