CARLISLE’S derelict Central Plaza Hotel is heading towards demolition, council chiefs say.

A cordon was put in place around the hotel on Victoria Viaduct on Tuesday after concerns were raised about the state of the building.

The inside floors in the building have now fallen in prompting concerns for the stability of the derelict structure.

John Mallinson, leader of Carlisle City Council, said: “It’s a very difficult situation that we find ourselves in. We don’t own the building - the Crown Estate does.

“We have a duty to keep the public safe which we will do. We have spent a considerable amount of money - close to £1m - on that - keeping people safe. The clock is ticking.

“We ideally need to move to a position now where it can be demolished

“Looking at the state of it, it’s very difficult to say that it could be restored.”

The hotel was inspected last week.

Jane Meek, director of economic development at the city council, said: “From that inspection we saw that the hotel had deteriorated quite a lot and in the last few months the floors have fallen right through. That has had an impact on the brick barrel undercroft and, in turn, impacts on the stability of the building.

“The advice we received on the back of that was to reinstate the cordon in case something does happen.

“If the specialists are concerned then we have to take immediate action.

“We have been working to try and find an alternative use for the building.

“We could not have done anything more. We used our emergency powers to make the building safe. We can’t do anything further. We would have to have applied for listed building consent. We can make it safe but we can’t repair it.”

Council chiefs do not know how long it would take to demolish the building.

Ms Meek said: “We will work with businesses in the area to make sure the key messages are getting out there but it is too early to say how long the area around the hotel will be shut for.

“We will assist businesses where we can.”

The county council put in place road closures and pedestrian diversions on Tuesday.