A CAMPAIGN group in Staveley has been left in limbo after their bid to buy a former council-owned care home and transform it into a community hub for the village was rejected.

Volunteers from the Staveley Community Trust are urging Cumbria County Council to come to the table to discuss the future of The Abbey, a care home central to the village which closed in 2020.

The trust was formed in April 2022 with the aim of acquiring the building through a community asset transfer from the county council to create a village community hub and 16 flats.

The county council deemed an asset transfer to the trust 'not viable' - instead putting The Abbey up for sale.

Campaigners had raised more than £170,000 and secured a £260,000 grant from South Lakeland District Council to help redevelop the home if it had been successful in buying it.

The county council, however, this week confirmed that it had received no acceptable bids for the property.

READ MORE: Council says plan to turn ex-care home into social care facility is 'not viable'

Deborah Michel, trust secretary, said that they plan to 'keep on fighting':

"We think we have a fantastic plan for the building, but we're not immovable – we just want some dialogue with the council so we can come up with a plan that's workable for everybody," she said.

"The last thing we want is to be in conflict with the council but the care home was and still could be essential to our village.

"There are so many people in Staveley and the surrounding area that need this facility – people need to be able to stay in their own community."

Deborah explained the group's proposal, saying: "We want to turn the way we think about older people on its head.

"We want to create a social hub in the main building that is intergenerational, with dining facilities, and offering various activities.

"It would be an out-facing restaurant, preferably run by one of the existing businesses in the village as we don't want to compete against anyone.

"We hope to build 16 independent living apartments, so those people would still have access to the facilities.

"We think it’s an innovative idea, and something the whole community can be involved in and benefit from.

"I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the council to at least discuss this with us."