Hopes of saving Carlisle's crumbling Central Plaza hotel from demolition have been reignited, with at least one party interested in taking on the site.

Carlisle City Council had invited developers to come forward with expressions of interest, with a deadline of December 31.

Deputy council leader Les Tickner had said that, if nobody was found to redevelop the hotel, demolition may be the only option left on the table.

But now, following a briefing this week, the authority has revealed that there has been "interest" from potential developers.

The council had sought developers with the necessary skills and experience to deliver what they described as a "challenging and unique opportunity".

It has not revealed how many expressions of interest have been received, or who they are from. However it confirmed that there is potentially a chance of saving the building.

A city council spokesman said: “Late last year, we provided the opportunity for potential developers to come forward with ‘expressions of interest’ in the potential redevelopment of the former Central Plaza hotel. The closing date has now ended and we assessing the interest submitted during this process.”

Although it has been looking for a developer, the city council does not own the Central Plaza site. 

It is technically ownerless, meaning it falls under the remit of the Crown Estate - though it is not responsible for its upkeep.

Having stood empty since 2004, the city council was last year forced to step in and carry out emergency safety repairs - costing taxpayers £900,000 to date and leaving Victoria Viaduct closed for weeks.

Following this, senior councillors agreed to market the site on behalf of the Crown Estate in the hope of finding a permanent solution for the city.