The Friends of Blencathra, the community group trying to buying the Lake District mountain, has responded to reports it has been sold to an 'unnamed party'.
This announcement has yet to be confirmed to us or to our legal representatives by the agents acting for the Lonsdale Estate. Until then, we are still campaigning and still going strong. As far as we are concerned, negotiations are still open. Yesterday, our representatives offered to match one particular bid, and our understanding was that this was being looked upon favourably".
– Group Chair Debbie Cosgrove
For the moment, for Friends of Blencathra it is business as usual. We have yet to be formally advised that negotiations are over. We continue to fundraise, to strengthen our position, and new members are still joining us. Whatever the outcome of the next few days may be, we are a group of people who care passionately about Blencathra and the future. We are continuing with our application to have Blencathra listed as a Community Asset."
The Cumbrian fell Blencathra has been sold to an unnamed bidder according to a press release issued by the agents H&H acting for the Lonsdale Estates.
Hugh Lowther put it on the market at 1.75 million pounds plus VAT as he needs to raise two million pounds to pay off a nine million pound inheritance tax bill.
Blencathra is one of the Lake District's most popular fells. When it was put up for sale in May it created a flurry of interest.
Locally a group, called the Friends of Blencathra, set up a social media campaign to raise the money to buy it. Thousands of people made pledges and on Tuesday, 24 hours ahead of the deadline for sealed bids, those involved with the charity had their fingers crossed that they would be successful.
Earlier a statement from the land agent said:
'We confirm that our client Lonsdale Settled Estate has instructed us to accept an offer from an unnamed buyer which exceeds the guide price for Blencathra Mountain.
Prior to reaching this decision we had discussions with representatives from ‘The Friends of Blencathra’. We have taken into account both their offer and the fact that there is a significant shortfall between this, and the successful offer.'
Debbie Cosgrove, founder and chair of the Friends of Blencathra says the group are shocked and disappointed as they had said they could match the higher offer within 24 hours.
Bidding for the iconic mountain, Blencathra, closed at midday today (2nd July).
'We are very excited by the interest that has been shown. We confirm that a number of offers have been received and are confident that we can move towards the sale of this iconic mountain.
Now that the closing date has passed and offers have been submitted the next role for us here at H&H Land and Property as agents, is to review each of the offers, report them to the Trustees and await further instruction from our clients.'