The former Post Office building in Carlisle could be converted into the city's first boutique-style hotel.
Property developers Simon Harrison, Philip Rheinbach and Robin Graham have purchased the property with a view to transforming the neo-classical building, originally built in 1916, into a four-star hotel with between 40 and 90 bedrooms.
Harrison said that Carlisle, which is well located close to the M6 and the last stop before Scotland, is ready for a unique, high quality hotel and would like to see a brand similar to Malmaison or Hotel du Vin operating in the property.
"Carlisle looses quality hotel trade to the likes of the North Lakes hotel in Penrith and Smiths of Gretna as there is little to offer in the city other than the national chain budget hotels," he explained.
"Despite Carlisle's position, rich heritage, castle and cathedral, it has not previously promoted itself well nationally and internationally as a tourist destination in its own right, and has been somewhat overshadowed by its immediate proximity to the Lake District.
"However, with the right hotel offer we would be able to do that."
Harrison said that as well as its attraction as a leisure destination, Carlisle is also being developed as a university city via the University of Cumbria and would benefit from plans to develop a Lake District airport on the outskirts of the city.
Located close to Carlisle's railway station, the former post office is around 30,000 in size with space to extend the building. A planning application, yet to be submitted, is likely to include a restaurant, bar and roof terrace.
By Janet Harmer
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