AN historic building in Carlisle - that has stood derelict for a number of years - is to go under the hammer.

The Old Brewery site, on Bridge Lane, was used as student residences and a youth hostel but has been empty since Storm Desmond in 2015.

Impact Housing Association, which had plans to turn the 18th Century building into affordable housing, has put the building up for auction.

But Councillor Louise Atkinson, for cathedral and castle ward, is fearful for the future of the building.

She said: "I am sad and disappointed that the owners, Impact Housing Association, are not going ahead with plans to convert the brewery into social housing, which is badly needed in Carlisle.

"It must not be allowed to become a derelict building as this brings its own problems.

"It is a beautiful building and has such historical importance with its links to the state management scheme.

"It would be lovely if it could become a brewery again but I doubt that will happen. It is more likely to become residential housing as it is perfect for that.

"Myself and the other councillors in my ward would be more than happy to work with any developer to ensure that this important building is brought back into an appropriate use.”

Impact decided that the grade-II listed building's design and location was not a viable option for affordable housing so an alternative buyer is now being sought.

The building overlooks the River Caldew and is made up of six buildings, ranging from two to four storeys with a central courtyard.

The 1.072 acre site is being marketed by Allsop and will be included in their residential auction on September 19 at a guide price of £75,000.

Bryonie Shaw, managing director of Impact, said: “We have looked closely at the options and costs involved in converting the brewery into affordable housing but, after taking expert independent advice, we have concluded that we would be able to create a far greater number of affordable homes by investing on more conventional sites elsewhere.

“It’s important to stress that there is no loss to the city’s affordable housing provision as a result of this decision as the Brewery has never previously been used for this purpose.

"We are keeping our council colleagues and other stakeholders informed, not only of our plans for selling this site but also for investing elsewhere in the borough, in partnership with The Riverside Group, to provide more than 160 good quality affordable homes for local people over the next two to three years.

“Impact is strongly committed to playing its part in helping to meet local housing need and as well as our development programme of new homes we are also, with the support of Riverside, investing around £25 million to improve about 2,170 of our existing properties across Cumbria over the next five years. All of this is part of the pledge Riverside made to Impact when we joined the group in 2018.”

The brewery was first opened in 1756 and was nationalised during the First World War remaining in state control until the 1970s.

Interested purchasers can find more information on the Allsop website.