'For sale' boards go up at historic Wisbech Castle - thought to have been originally built by William the Conqueror

PUBLISHED: 16:53 26 August 2016 | UPDATED: 16:53 26 August 2016

Wisbech Castle up for sale by Cambridgeshire County Council

Wisbech Castle up for sale by Cambridgeshire County Council

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Historic Wisbech Castle - reported to have been originally built by William the Conqueror- is for sale.

Present owner Cambridgeshire County Council says it no longer “has an operational use” for it.

The council hopes to sell the castle, in recent years used as a location for the BBC’s David Copperfield, to a community group.

“With the continuing financial constraints on the public sector, the council needs to maximise the value of its property assets,” says the council whilst recognising it remains an “important part of the historic fabric and community of the town.”

They have circulated a ‘for sale’ note to any local group that might be interested in either buying or renting the castle.

A council committee will meet in October to consider the future of the building and they hope to have “expressions of interest” in by the end of September.

The council has told prospective buyers any proposals need to show how the castle will be renovated and run

The council is hopeful of achieving “market value” for it.

Wisbech county councillor Sam Hoy says she has asked to meet town council leader David Oliver and clerk Terry Jordan to see what proposals might be possible locally.

“The castle must be retained,” she said. “I would like to see it developed as a tourist attraction and perhaps it could once again host weddings and conferences.”

She was insistent, however, that whatever groups express a desire to save the castle should work together.

“It is vital we are all seen to be singing from the same hymn sheet,” she said.

MP Steve Barclay said he had been pressing for some years for the castle to be opened up for tourism and community use.

“It sits in a beautiful square with some beautiful buildings,” he said.

The MP felt there was an opportunity for the Wisbech Museum to perhaps be integrated with the castle and for a restaurant and tea rooms to be shared between them to boost income.

He said there was an educational covenant on the castle and he hoped to see how that remit would be fulfilled.

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