A petition launched by a major trade union calling on the Government to pay the costs of demolishing the former Central Plaza is gathering support.

The derelict former hotel, on Victoria Viaduct in Carlisle city centre, was recently demolished after being designated a danger to public safety.

With a total cost of the demolition works coming to more than £2 million and currently falling to Carlisle City Council to pay, trade union Unison has launched a petition calling on central Government to step in and foot the cost of demolition.

The union’s Cumbria branch secretary Cliff Evans said: “When local government budgets have been slashed by a decade of austerity cuts, the last thing the city council needs is the extra burden of costs associated with taking down the former Central Plaza hotel.”

Conservative MP for Carlisle John Stevenson said he recently had a “very constructive” meeting with Treasury minister Simon Clarke, and says he now has a “commitment” from Mr Clarke that he will encourage the Crown Estate to be as “helpful as possible” on the issue.

Mr Stevenson is also due to meet with the Secretary of State for the Department of Local Government, Robert Jenrick, to “lobby the secretary of state to see whether there can be some financial assistance given to Carlisle City Council”.

Unison’s petition, calling on the Government to shoulder the financial burden of the Central Plaza demolition costs, has attracted just under 200 signatures since launching at the end of last month.