Published: March 24, 2011
Highbridge Hotel boss 'hopeful' of finding new owner soon

The businessman behind the fire-ravaged Highbridge Hotel has told this week he is "hopeful" that a new owner will soon be found for the site - three years on from a huge blaze.

Derek Mead's comments follow the massive fire that ripped through the prominent building in April 2008, leaving it badly damaged. It remains clad in scaffolding at the entrance to the town, as pictured here.

Mr Mead told this week that several commercial firms have considered taking on the site.

"There has been some interest in taking it on, even though the property market is still depressed. Things are gradually picking up though," he said.

"One company has looked closely at it for mixed use, so I am hopeful that a new owner will be found. We would like to get it developed."

He added that there are no plans to renovate the building further in the short-term. "The property itself is secure, so no immediate work is needed," he confirmed.

Some residents in the area have labled the building an 'eyesore' and say they would like to see it removed altogether, while others believe the historic property should be retained and redeveloped.

The former Highbridge Hotel was left in an unstable condition following a huge blaze in April 2008.

The cattle market site at the rear of the building has not been used for two years since the final Highbridge market was held there in 2009.


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