Ashoka Indian Restaurant, Chesterfield

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The following article is taken from Chesterfield Borough Council Website -


Ashoka, an Indian restaurant on Holywell Street was built in a mock tudor style during the 1930s.  The block of buildings were constructed as part of the widening of Holywell Street during this time and replaced previous buildings on the site. 


Ashoka is a good example of what the Chesterfield THI would like to achieve.  The building had a horizontal division of design with the original mock tudor façade on the upper floors and then an Indian inspired shop front.  Chesterfield THI seeks to improve buildings so they can be read as one building, rather than split in levels as this one was.  A grant was therefore awarded to Ashoka to reinstate a traditional shop front.

Ashoka undertook a comprehensive scheme of works through the Chesterfield THI.  The works included repairs to the upper façade of the building, reinstatement of a shop front appropriate to the building and the conversion of the upper floor to become part of the restaurant.

The repair works received a grant from Chesterfield THI, the works included re-slating with some of the original slates and new slates where the existing were in poor condition.  The roofing works were carried out in March 2008.


Following the initial works an architect was engaged to develop proposals for the shop front and internal conversion.  Several suggestions were made for the shop front with the final version being the one installed.  The architect also put together the specification for the repair of the mock tudor facade and the installation of the shop front.
The upper floor facade of the building was in poor condition with some of the render missing, the timbers requiring attention and also parts of the upper floor windows missing.  The works to the facade were estimated, however until the scaffolding had been erected then the full extent of the works required could not be assessed.  On closer inspection it was established that pigeons had been roosting behind the render for some considerable time which had led to the rotting of some of the timbers.  It was decided that some of the timber was in such a poor condition that it should be replaced, the render was also replaced using traditional lime render and lime wash.


The first floor was converted to additional restaurant space with funding through the Chesterfield THI.  Works included altering the stair access to the first floor and then on to the second floor.  On the first floor several unsupporting walls were removed to open up the space to create a light and airy dining space.  The works funded by Chesterfield THI are the basic works required to create a usable space, the fittings and decoration are the responsibility of the owner.


The owner has also chosen to refit the ground floor restaurant premises as part of the works to the building, this is outside the scope of the Chesterfield THI so did not receive a grant.


The premises were opened by the Mayor of Chesterfield, Cllr Adrian Kitch on 14th December 2009.  He commented:

"The THI plays an extremely important role in the repair and regeneration of historical town centre buildings.  These are vital assets to our town and by preserving these buildings it attracts people to the town, boosting our local economy and our retail and tourism offer."