A DEVELOPER has given campaigners battling to save an historic Penrith pottery the chance to buy it for £250k after they offered to help find a buyer.

Earlier this year Eden District Council green-lighted proposals for the 19th century Wetheriggs Pottery and surrounding land, in the hamlet of Clifton Dykes, to be converted into five homes, the heritage site has been closed since 2008.

The furious campaigners had launched a petition which got nearly 4,500 signatures.

Site owner Neil Le-Sage, from Stoneswood Developments Ltd, offered to sell the site in February after campaigner Russell Ackerman, a professional potter from Lancaster sent him an open letter.

In it he wrote: “Over the last few months we have managed to raise awareness with thousands of people about the redevelopment of Wetheriggs Pottery, many of whom are professionally involved in the pottery and heritage sectors.

He added: “If you chose to offer the site for sale our Save Wetheriggs Pottery campaign is currently in a position to reach a large number of potential buyers.

“We have always publicly stated our belief that if you, or Eden district council, had known more about Wetheriggs history and it’s cultural importance to the community you would not have invested in the proposition.

“We have illustrated, to both yourselves and the wider public, through our various Facebook posts some of the rich history and future potential of this unique country pottery with the intention of showing what would be lost if you proceed.

“We are hoping that you make the right moral decision and choose not proceed with your redevelopment plans.”

In response Mr Le-Sage said: “We purposefully housed all of the listed buildings of historical importance into the envelope of one large plot, with its own private entrance.

“This ensures the continuity of the site whilst maintaining its historical value and giving it independence from the new residential scheme.

“Our intentions were always to bring together the listed aspects of the site as the previous planning approval split everything into different holiday apartments which would have destroyed the essence of the buildings.

“We have asked our agent to find someone suitable for the house and we always imagined that it would be someone who understood the history of the buildings and embraced its national interest.

“We do have applicants interested in it when completed. However, we are at an early stage and yet to determine a price point for the completed property.

“If you are genuinely interested in purchasing the site ‘as it is’ we are happy to give you the opportunity to buy it for £250k.”

He said campaigners should contact David Britton Estates, in Penrith, to discuss it.