An eyesore former supermarket bought by the council as part of multi-million-pound regeneration work is to be put back up for sale.

Worcester City Council said it will now be selling the former Co-op supermarket in Angel Street – having scrapped a move to redevelop the building because of budget troubles.

Indicative plans for the building included new flats, a food hall and a rooftop garden.

The city council’s planning committee turned down a move to convert the building into a gin palace in 2017.

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The council has spent the year trying to find a use for the building after finding out the cost of restoration and conversion would exceed budgets.

Council chiefs admitted they would not be able to do anything with the building without third-party backing and while interest from landlords in turning the building into housing was “limited” there had been interest in opening the site as a new pub – and there is a “realistic” chance of finding a buyer.

The building remains empty, and its condition is deteriorating, according to the council, with the cash-strapped authority still liable for any associated costs.

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If the condition of the building continues to decline, the council is also concerned that its value will fall when it comes to selling.

The deteriorating building was bought by the city council using part of the £18 million it was awarded by the government in 2021 to redevelop the northern side of the city centre – work that included, among other things, re-opening the nearby Scala Theatre as a new venue.

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But spiralling costs have forced the council to scrap several parts of the work, with the proposals for the former Co-op one of the first to get the boot, as well as reduce the cornerstone Scala work from a 500-seat theatre to a smaller performing arts venue.

The council’s managing director David Blake said the ‘soft’ marketing had been carried out on the building – with “some success.”

“The uncertainty over the Scala and the Corn Exchange has caused potential investors to pause, just to see what’s happening, and now we’re back on firmer footing, we would like to take that property to the market and see what interest we get from it,” he said at the policy and resources committee meeting in the Guildhall.

The council’s joint leader Cllr Lynn Denham: “We can only hope that it is of value, and we get a reasonable bid.”

Cllr James Stanley, chair of the policy and resources committee, said Angel Street and Angel Place had been “on the margins” for a number of years and the council needed to make it a “place to visit and a place to stay.”

Councillors agreed to scrap the potential makeover of the former supermarket in December last year – with the council focusing on redeveloping the nearby Scala Theatre into a new venue.

The building could be used as a site office during the work to re-open the Scala Theatre, the council said.