A REDUNDANT 1950s telephone station perched high on Shap summit could get a new lease of life.
The building off the A6 is over 1,000 feet above sea level and is being sold by estate agents Michael CL Hodgson for £25,000 and marketed as a camping barn for cyclists and fund raisers attempting the Land's End to John O Groats route.
“It is ideal for people doing the route as they go straight past it,” said estate agent manager Colin Tomlinson. “I was there yesterday and four people cycling the route said they would have definitely use it if it had been available.”
James Lanery, 41, of Portsmouth who was cycling the length of the country in a group of four said as he passed through Shap: ”It would be perfect for people on the route. Its nice to stay in the beautiful surroundings rather than towns. At the moment there isn’t many cheap places you can stay.
“All you want is somewhere to put your head down. The only thing is it would have to have food as you can’t exactly nip out to get something to eat around here.”
David Bailey, 41, of Worcester, who was also cycling the route with a partner, said: “I think it’s a great idea. We aren’t stopping till Kendal but if there was somewhere here that was reasonably priced we would definitely use it.”
Eden District Council’s Shap representative, Coun Neil Hughes said: “It is an attractive idea in some ways to live, or even holiday, on top of Shap summit. The A6 here doesn’t even have a regular bus service – never mind the snow and gales”
Landlady Debbie Gee, who runs the Bull’s Head Inn, Shap, said she thought there was a high demand for more accommodation.
“We have had lots of people coming in here and looking for somewhere to stay,” she said. “If you are travelling on the John O Groats route then you will definitely go through Shap - so i think it will be useful.”
The station has been disused for nearly 20 years and with five rooms it can cater for large and small parties.
Planning permission has been obtained from Eden District Council to convert the building into a camping barn.