The council invited developers to come forward with ‘expressions of interest’ last autumn. They sought developers with the necessary skills and experience to deliver the “challenging and unique opportunity”.
A development brief, drawn together by the council, said: “The Central Plaza is a Grade II listed former hotel located within the heart of Carlisle city centre. The prominent 0.2-acre site offers an exciting opportunity to breathe new life into the building or to create a new addition to the city centre.”
The hotel closed in 2004 and has remained vacant since. Several failed attempts to redevelop the property have left the building in poor condition. As the building is ownerless (it is currently in escheat but rests with the Crown Estate) emergency work to improve structural safety were recently undertaken by Carlisle City Council under the Building Act 1984.
Carlisle City Council spokesperson said:“Late last year, we provided the opportunity for developers to come forward with ‘expressions of interest’ for the potential redevelopment of the former Central Plaza hotel. The closing date has now ended and we are assessing the interest submitted during this process.”
Carlisle City Council is not the owner of the building and as such has only statutory rather than legal duties in respect of the building.
However the City Council said it will consider assisting the acquisition of the site; coordinating stakeholder interest and engagement; identifying and assisting in accessing funding; and advising on planning and heritage matters within the wider city centre regeneration context.
The closing date of initial expressions of interest was Monday 31 December 2018.