Cumbria

Carlisle Central Plaza Hotel: Collapse fears prompt cordon

Road closed near Plaza Hotel
Image caption A cordon is in place at Victoria Viaduct in Carlisle

Part of Carlisle city centre has been closed off for the second time in 12 months over fears that a derelict hotel may collapse.

Efforts to reinforce the Grade II-listed Central Plaza have been made after it emerged much of its internal structure had fallen away.

Surrounding roads have been closed off while city council bosses decide what to do about the "ownerless" building.

The authority said a resolution would "take months rather than weeks".

Image copyright Carlisle City Council
Image caption Only the outside walls of the derelict hotel remain intact

The hotel, which closed in 2004, is being held by the Crown Estate, although the council is still responsible for it.

New pictures released by the council show how the internal structure of the building has deteriorated.

So far, the council said it had spent almost £1m making the building safe and been quoted £2.5m to demolish it.

Image copyright Carlisle City Council
Image caption Almost all of the building's internal structure has fallen away

Council leader John Maillinson said: "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."

Jane Meek, corporate director of economic development, added: "We will have to put together a plan how to deal with this dangerous structure.

"It will take time to get contractors on site and then it will take some time to actually remove the dangerous parts of the structure.

"It's going to be months, rather than weeks unfortunately."

Image copyright Carlisle City Council
Image caption Rubble is collecting around the derelict hotel

Vivienne Webster, who runs a British Heart Foundation shop close to the hotel on Victoria Viaduct, said: "We are concerned about the situation because it hits our ability to unload deliveries and collections, which is a massive part of our business.

"We're trying to spread the word that we are still trading, but the sooner this problem is sorted out the better."

Image caption The building's exterior has been cloaked in scaffolding for years

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