A Georgian mansion in Salford, Manchester is on the brink of being sold to a boutique hotel chain and being transformed after standing derelict for the last 15 years.
The Grade-II listed building in Buile Hill Park, Salford is stepped in local history, with the property inspiring parts of the novel The Secret Garden.
It’s been revealed that a potential bid for the site by an undisclosed hotel group was being discussed this week.
Salford councillors and officers met in private to mull over the new plans, saying that a public hearing would “damage the prospects for a sale”.
A spokesman for the council said: “We remain committed to finding a sustainable, long-term future for Buile Hill mansion and hotel use is the most promising option, from the interest shown in the property.
“We very much hope a sensitive development can be agreed in the not too distant future.”
Despite the new plans, the building has not yet been sold.
The stately home was first built in 1827 as the home of Sir Thomas Potter, the first Lord Mayor of Manchester.
It was being used as the home for Lancashire Mining Museum when it closed in 2000 and has been left untouched ever since.
Whoever takes on the project would have their work cut out to restore the property to its former grandeur.
The new proposal follows several failed attempts to sell the building. In 2008 the council approved plans by John Wilkinson to turn the mansion into a £9m country hotel but permission ran out last year.
In 2010 Mr Wilkinson held talks with the MacDonald’s Hotel Group, with a plan for the Wilkinson Corporation to own the mansion and lease it to the hotel chain, but it fell through.