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Hotel firm showing interest in Carlisle's Central Plaza

A major chain has revealed an interest in buying and reviving Carlisle’s derelict Central Plaza Hotel.

Central Plaza photo
The Central Plaza Hotel

Related: Carlisle's Central Plaza: From city jewel to eyesore

The big-name firm is understood to be considering making a bid to end years of neglect and transform the eyesore building.

Representatives of the company have already held talks with Carlisle City Council as they eye a potential purchase of the Victorian landmark.

Indications are that – if a deal were to be made – their plans are to create a four-star hotel.

Details of the operator involved have not yet been disclosed.

Their interest, however, is being viewed as a positive sign for the city’s economy as it aims to build further on the lucrative tourism trade.

City council leader Mike Mitchelson revealed discussions between the authority’s officials and a hotels operator interested by buying the hotel had taken place.

He said: “It would be a four-star hotel that they would open.

“Things have not gone any further at the moment but discussions about options for what the building could be used for have taken place.”

The Central Plaza, which boasted 84 bedrooms, has been empty and falling into an increasing state of disrepair since 2004, becoming a magnet for arsonists, vandals and thieves.

Safety fears surrounding it have grown to such a point that the city council has used legal powers to gain access to the building and carry out urgent repairs. Once complete, the building’s owners will be hit with the bill for the works, estimated to be at least £75,000.

It is with those owners - registered as a Manchester-based property company - that the hotel firm will have to progress its purchase interest.

Talks with the city council are thought to have centred on work that may be needed on the building.

Because of its status, the Central Plaza’s distinctive frontage would have to be kept, but it is understood the interested operator has inquired about how it could revamp the rest of the building so it meets the demands of a modern hotel.

Mr Mitchelson added: “The interest is genuine. They have sat down with planners to discuss the options.

“All the council can do is encourage someone to try and take over the building. If that can be done with a hotel operator providing good quality accommodation in Carlisle, that helps the city in its drive towards being a regional centre.

“It’s pleasing to see that there’s some interest in this building. If we can get it back into use, it will help make the area more vibrant and help tourism accommodation.”

Central Plaza is not the only prominent empty building in Carlisle earmarked for a hotel.

There is a hope of turning the former Crown Post Office in Warwick Road - owned by a consortium of city businessmen - into a boutique hotel.

Have your say

Reply to CarlisleLad
I am personally aware of the significant recent investments that have undergone at the Hallmark, Crown & Mitre and Ibis that you mention in your comments. The standard of the accommodation in the city has come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of years which can be proved through the huge increase in overnight Leisure Travel into the city as well as corporate business travellers.
Access and parking to the Central Plaza will not be as straight forward as you believe.

Posted by Redfox85 on 2 April 2012 at 15:53

Excellent News.

Time to promote our Hidden Gem of a City and Region.

Posted by A on 1 April 2012 at 18:41

View all 5 comments on this article

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