Yobs have been seen scrambling across scaffolding on an abandoned Carlisle hotel.

Staff at a business next to the Central Plaza Hotel, on Victoria Viaduct, say they have been targeted by the teenagers who use the crumbling building as a base from which to lob missiles. Several windows have been broken.

Andrew Gale, who manages the Carlisle Bed Centre, said the problem had escalated over the past three weeks, and has got so bad that he fears there may be a tragedy.

He said: “Over recent weeks we have noticed that some of the boards put up to make the building secure have been pulled off.

“We had our first broken window in the showroom.

“Over the past two weeks we have seen children running around on the scaffolding, and going into the building. It’s an increasing problem.”

He continued: “The first thing that needs to happen is they have to make the building secure again. After they they have to make a decision about its long term future.

“It’s a real blight on this area of Carlisle. Every customer who comes into our shop comments on it. It’s an eyesore and a disgrace.

Mr Gale is particularly fearful the building could be targeted by arsonists, as it has been in the past.

“There could easily be a tragedy,” he warned.

Meanwhile, Carlisle City Council officials were yesterday checking out the building to see if it can be made more secure.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We are continuing to explore ways to get the building back in to use and will support any future owners in whatever way we can.

“Dialogue is ongoing with potential interested parties and we’re happy to consider a range of options for the future use of the building.”