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The £100,000-plus renovation has added an extra floor to the Burnt Common Auction rooms, allowing lots to be stored upstairs and freeing up the salerooms for easier access during viewings and sales.

A new glass frontage at the entrance, complementing the renovated exterior, will be used to bring in natural light for viewing jewellery and other items.

Owner Chris Ewbank hopes the work will help him realise his ambition to capitalise fully on the outstanding location of the rooms - just off the A3, near the M25 - which he opened 15 years ago.

Mr Ewbank, a board member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and chairman of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers, revealed that the changes have allowed him to double the the size of his premises.

The move comes just as Dreweatt Neate have taken over the Godalming rooms of Hamptons to raise the stakes in what is potentially one of the richest areas in the country both for sourcing and selling antiques.

"We have seen our business grow steadily over the years to the point where the existing building was bursting at the seams," said Mr Ewbank.

"We believe we can now meet the increased demand head-on and offer our clients surroundings that improve their comfort immeasurably."

Mr Ewbank moved to Guildford when he was appointed to run the old Cubitt & West auction rooms in Millmead in 1982. Prior to that, he spent five years with the UK's leading provincial auctioneers, Dreweatt Watson and Barton, in Newbury.

In 1990, following two takeovers in as many years, he decided to set up his own business, with sales at the Hog's Back Hotel in the days before he had his own premises.

The next general sale at the Burnt Common Auction Rooms is on June 16 and the Summer Antiques & Fine Art Auction is on Thursday, July 7, entries for which are already particularly good, Mr Ewbank reports. Further entries are being accepted up to June 24.

For further information, please contact Ewbank on 01483 223101 or at antiques@ewbankauctions.co.uk