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.
However, a recent inspection of the building by Building Control and the council’s consulting structural engineer and principal designer found the building to be at risk and action is needed to make the building safe.
The inspection found that the remaining roof structure is close to collapsing with the potential to disturb masonry. All the floors next to the front elevation have collapsed and the remaining timber floors were found to be “badly decayed”. The vaulted ceiling to the basement was also found to be “severely damaged”.
In a statement Carlisle City Council said it was unable to say how long the closures will be in place, however due to the extent of the damage and the scale of work required it would likely be “months rather than weeks”.
Council leader John Maillinson told the BBC: “The ownership of the building is vested in Crown estates and of course the listed building comes under Historic England.
“These are not things within our control. If it were within my power I would start knocking it down this afternoon.”