The demolition of a major Carlisle city centre building is set to get the go-ahead this week.

Paton House on Victoria Viaduct in Carlisle is recommended for demolition, and Carlisle City Council's development control committee will tomorrow decide whether to give the green light to the project.

Built in 1937, the art-deco style building is now "gradually falling into a state of disrepair", according to city council planning officers, who have recommended its demolition.

"The building would require substantial financial input to be re-purposed and/or upgraded so the decision has been taken to demolish it due its ever increasing negative impact on the surrounding area," planning officers have outlined in advance of Friday's meeting, adding that the building is "no longer required by the City Council".

"The removal of the building would allow the comprehensive redevelopment of the area and would allow the setting of listed buildings, that make a significant positive contribution to the City Centre Conservation Area, to be improved," planning officers added.

The proposed demolition of Paton House is described as an "integral part" of the Borderlands redevelopment project, set to bring "considerable social, economic and environmental benefits" to the city.

"It is understood that a number of the occupiers have already secured alternative premises", planning officers note, adding that Paton House will be vacant from March.

"If any businesses are still looking for alternative premises the City Council can provide assistance.

"There are currently a number of vacant units in the City Centre which might be suitable."

The Bed Shop Carlisle, which has long had a home in Paton House, has recently secured new premises on Lowther Street, in the former building occupied by Argos.

The entertainment businesses Total Enigma - which runs escape room scenarios - and Laser Quest, were also based in Paton House.

Both companies are run by local businesswoman Laura Waters, who said in January that she hopes to "rebuild" in new premises secured on Hillcrest Avenue, off London Road.

Her solar panel business, Total Power Installations, is based at this site.

The occupants of Paton House have had an extremely tough time in the past couple of years. As well as facing the turbulence brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic through 2020, they also faced months of closures in 2019 after the former Central Plaza Hotel opposite was deemed unsafe, temporarily closing Victoria Viaduct entirely while demolition works were carried out.

The proposed demolition of Paton House, if approved on Friday, will be a complete tear-down of the building, apart from the retaining wall that supports the cobbled Bush Brow highway, in order to support the structural integrity of the road.

If approved, prior to demolition starting a full photographic record of the building will be carried out and entered into the Cumbria Historic Environment Record.

Planning officers for the city council, which is the applicant for the demolition, state that the demolition of Paton House will "enhance the presence of the Citadels from the Viaduct and improve the setting of the Courts site in preparation for subsequent redevelopment proposals".

"Furthermore, the scheme would sustain and enhance the listed buildings by improving circumstances for their future use."