Local architects transform a former derelict building into something rather eye-catching...

A former Barnstaple grotspot has been transformed into an iconic new building.

RGP Architects welcomed guests to the official opening of new offices in Victoria Road that had once been the town's Driving Test Centre.

The architectural practice bought the premises from North Devon Council and has invested heavily in regenerating it and adding an overhanging first floor to give an iconic look and more space.

The new building was open on Wednesday by the Mayor, Councillor Val Elkins, who said the site had previously become quite run down and known as something of a grotspot.

"It is good use of a derelict building and I think it would be nice to work here because it's so light and airy and well thought out," she said.

RGP managing director Nigel Gale added: "The original building is downstairs and all we have done is stick an extra structure on the outside of the building.

"It is gratifying to see that already this re-utilisation of a redundant former council building is instigating regeneration in this part of Barnstaple."

It is understood other buildings close by are also scheduled to be refurbished by other parties and put to more productive use.