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Observatory And Mortuary Up For Grabs In Government Online Sale

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A former mortuary is among disused public sector buildings being offered for sale or rent on a new Government property search website.

The £50,000 "Find Me Some Government Space" initiative has been modelled on popular commercial sites used by homebuyers and is designed to help shift redundant venues.

observatory

Great views: Bidston observatory in Merseyside

A magistrates' court, ambulance station, fire control centre and two observatories are among 1,200 sites across Britain.

Since the 2010 general election £640 million has been raised by selling more than 250 surplus buildings, ministers say.

But it emerged this month that others have been sat empty for more than a decade, costing the taxpayer huge sums.

Among rental opportunities is the Bidston observatory in Merseyside, complete with its distinctive twin domes, while another at Lerwick on the Shetland Islands offering "spectacular views" is for sale.

fire control centre

A fire control centre similar to the one above is also on sale

Wakefield's former fire control centre would make a good "disaster recovery and training facility", the website says - though it could also just be used as offices.

There are no suggestions for what prospective buyers might like to use the mortuary in Folkestone - because it is on land being sold off as a housing development opportunity.

The prospectus declares the site to be a "former Victorian hospital including a disused mortuary, chapel and hall and tennis court with associated land".

Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith said: "Not only will this website help to save Government money, but we will see new opportunities, jobs and growth in local economies as new life is brought into empty, unused properties."

The site is available from 9am today at www.gov.uk/find-government-property.