Historic former Isle of Man police station 'must pay own way'

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image captionThe former police station was bought by Manx National Heritage in 2018

A historic former police station on the Isle of Man will not be propped up with government money, Manx National Heritage (MNH) has said.

The Castletown building was bought by MNH in 2018 after outcry over its potential sale on the open market.

Formal interest in leasing the 120-year-old building is now being sought.

Director Edmund Southworth said any initiative would have to be financially sustainable.

The structure was designed by celebrated architect Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott in 1895 and served as the town's police station until 2017.

A public consultation last autumn showed strong support for the preservation of the structure to be funded by the government and public.

image source, MNH
image captionThe building was designed in 1895 and served as the town's police station until 2017

Mr Southworth said there "isn't a blank cheque-book for heritage" on the island and the buildings owned by the organisation would have to "wash their face".

"It doesn't mean to say they have to make a profit, but in the long-term they need a future which is sustainable", he continued.

The structure would not "require a huge amount of money to maintain", however "not every building can be a museum," he added.

The 400 respondents to the consultation unanimously backed the preservation of the building.

While 97% felt it was important public access to it was maintained, only 38% opposed its commercial use.

Commercial operators have until 22 October to register their interest in leasing the building for a minimum of five years.

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