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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Maryport's Christ Church resold

Maryport's iconic Christ Church has been resold at auction in London.

A sale for the harbourside church, which closed just over a year ago, was first agreed with London firm UK Arts Property Limited for £65,000.

The church believed the company’s intention was to turn it into an arts centre.

But after contracts had been exchanged the arts company instantly put the building up at auction in London on February 5, where it was sold for £65,000 to a mystery buyer.

Dr Richard Pratt, archdeacon of West Cumberland, said the church was shocked and disappointed at the resale.

The diocese sought legal advice after the auction but was told it was contractually bound to complete the sale to UK Arts Property.

The deal is expected to be concluded at the end of next month.

Dr Pratt said the church did not know who had bought the building and will not know until the sale with UK Arts Property is completed.

He said: “Our primary concern when accepting the offer from UK Arts Property Limited was to ensure good use of the building as a community facility – an arts centre. We dealt with this company in good faith, as did our estate agents.

“Of course, once it belongs to UK Arts Property they can do with it what they want, though we have put some restrictive covenants on to prevent any inappropriate development.

“The team clergy and PCC did all they could over the sale. They took appropriate professional advice at every point. They needed to act promptly, given that the building was empty and unused and therefore vulnerable.

“They accepted the best offer on the table, believing that it would secure the future of the building for the town.”

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