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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Number of offers received to buy Lake District mountain

A campaign group fighting to buy a Cumbrian mountain faces competition from “a number” of others.

Blencathra walk photo
Walk backs group’s bid to buy Blencathra

The deadline for bids to buy Blencathra was midday yesterday, after weeks of build-up.

Among them is a bid by the Friends of Blencathra, which includes mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington who walked with a group of around 150 people from Keswick to Threlkeld to deliver their bid.

The chairwoman of Friends of Blencathra, Debbie Cosgrove, said the bid had been possible because of the overwhelming support of members of the public who did not want to see the mountain fall into the hands of an absentee landlord.

“Thanks to this support, we have made what I believe is a realistic bid as well as giving some options. We have been advised not to reveal the amount."

There had been an intense focus on the mountain, affectionately known as Saddleback, since it was put up for sale by Lord Lonsdale.

The Earl is selling Blencathra and the ancient manorial title of The Lordship of the Manor of Threlkeld. There was a guide price of £1.75m on the mountain, which Lord Lonsdale will use to help pay off a £9m inheritance tax bill.

The Friends of Blencathra has rallied around to try and raise the funds needed to purchase the mountain for the community – and avoid it potentially being bought by a foreign investor.

Although the group would not say how much it had raised for fear of starting a bidding row, it submitted its own sealed bid to selling agents H&H Land and Property by yesterday’s deadline.

John Robson, managing director of H&H Land and Property, said in a statement an hour after the deadline: “We are very excited by the interest that has been shown. We confirm that a number of offers have been received and are confident that we can move towards the sale of this iconic mountain.” Mr Robson continued:

“Now that the closing date has passed and offers have been submitted, the next role for us as agents is to review each of the offers, report them to the trustees and await further instruction from our clients.”

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