A JEWELLERY shop which was based in Bury for more than 100 years could become a dentist’s surgery, if plans are approved.

Lepps Jewellers, in The Rock, has closed down and is up for sale after the store’s owner John Lepp decided to retire.

Lepps was founded by businessman James Ditchfield Lepp, who later became the Mayor of Bury in 1928-1929, and the firm celebrated 100 years of trading in 2005.

The jewellers also has stores in Altrincham and Warrington, which operate independently of each other.

The new surgery would be run by Stephen Nulty and his son Adam, who already runs Ramsbottom Dental Surgery in Bridge Street, and Tottington Dental Surgery, in Back Chapel Street.

However Adam Nulty said that the change of use would depend on whether he could gain an NHS contract to operate at the new surgery.

Mr Nulty said they would be called Dentist on The Rock, and that it would seek to fill a gap a shortage in NHS dental provision in the borough.

He said: “In my opinion, the more NHS dentists there are, the better. There are also not many dentists in the centre of Bury; there are more on the outskirts, so hopefully it would make it easier for people.

“But it is quite difficult to get an NHS contract at the moment. Even if I get the planning permission, I am not sure about what I would do. I might buy it and rent it out.”

Planning documents stated that the existing layout of the building would be maintained, other than partitioning an area which would be used as the dental surgery. It also says that the building could be expanded in the future to provide more additional surgeries upstairs.

Mr Lepp was unavilable for comment.