CARLISLE’S Old Brewery Residences have been sold to a local developer for £400,000.

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.

It used to be home to Theakston’s Brewery and stands a stone’s throw from Carlisle Castle.

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

It went under the hammer at an auction in London last week.

A spokesman for auctioneer Allsop confirmed to The Cumberland News that the residences had been sold to a local developer.

He said: “There was quite a bit of of interest in the building.

“It has been sold to a local developer.”

Labour councillor Louise Atkinson, for the Cathedral and Castle ward, said: “It is a beautiful property.

“I am delighted that it has been sold to a local developer and will not be standing derelict.

“I am really, really relieved that it has been sold.

“It is obviously up to the local developer to decide what they want to do with the building.

“I would like to see it become social or affordable housing.

“As a councillor I will support the developer with their plans.

“I had a lot of people calling me up and asking me about it when it first went on the market.

“It’s an important part of the city’s history and has historical impact for the city.”

Impact decided that the grade-II listed building’s design and location was not a viable option for affordable housing so an alternative buyer was 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 had an initial guide price of £75,000.

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

In 2016, Impact had hoped to transform the residences into nearly 40 homes - a mix of flats and maisonettes.

A decision to close the halls of residence was made following a fall in student numbers.

The student rooms at the Old Brewery were not equipped with ensuite bathrooms and it was thought that this, along with the falling numbers, contributed to students opting to live elsewhere.

A youth hostel used to operate on the site in the summer.

It is not known when work will start on the building, which overlooks Castle Way and the River Caldew.

n Homes: Inside Life