A Cockermouth group has raised concerns about the safety of a historic town centre building.

The town's Civic Trust has been monitoring the condition of the Old Courthouse, which was declared unsafe in November 2021 after the fast-flowing River Cocker eroded the stone section underneath it.

"As time passes the likelihood of saving this building becomes less and less likely," said the trust's architectural adviser Darren Ward.

It "remains highly vulnerable to further collapse", he said.

London property consultant Samiul Ahmed bought the Old Courthouse at auction last July, for £51,000.

Last month he pledged the three-storey 194-year-old building would be saved and brought back to life. He said he expected to spend more than £100,000 making it safe.

Speaking this week, he said: "The Old Court House is in safe hands, contrary to speculative opinions.

"I am working with specialists and with facts and in the best interest of the old court house.

"The Old Court House will see better days after the ongoing investments."

Mr Ward said: "The state of the Old Courthouse remains a serious concern and fears over its safety persist.

"Following a flurry of activity earlier in the year to install internal scaffold bracing, progress appears to have stalled.

"The building, however, continues to move with visible cracks appearing on the rear and riverside elevations. More worrying, is the recent partial collapse of the rear offshoot.

"There have been some comments that this change is a result of demolition work. It is not, the partial collapse is a direct consequence of previous river erosion.

"Over the coming months, it is likely the building will continue to move and remains highly vulnerable to further collapse.

"As time passes the likelihood of saving this building becomes less and less likely."

When asked how work was progressing, Mr Ahmed said: "So far, so good.

"The work programme for the building is scheduled to last up to September 2023.

"Homes under the Hammer are planning to return for recording in the coming weeks."

Civic Trust chairman Phil Campbell said: "We are not seeking to criticise Mr Ahmed, just expressing our concern about the future of an important landmark building in Cockermouth and time is not on our side."