BOSSES at a prominent Barrow hotel have confirmed they have been approached about a potential sale by a national firm.

John Cook, the owner of the Lisdoonie Hotel on Abbey Road confirmed interest has been shown in his business out-of-the-blue.

Rumours suggest the approach was by supermarket giant The Co-op, however Mr Cook said conversations were at such an early stage he was unable to disclose the interested party.

Mr Cook has managed the hotel for more than 20 years and has been approached by several companies over the years regarding a potential sale.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of running the hotel. I’m privileged to have been involved.

“But it’s been 40 years and I’m 65, I can’t go on forever.”

Since Mr Cook’s family are disinterested in taking over the hotel, Mr Cook said he wants to enjoy his retirement and finally sell. However, Mr Cook said the sale is far from confirmed yet.

He said: “Nobody can do anything until the company of interest gets planning permission.”

The hotel is a prized landmark of Barrow’s major thoroughfare and has been owned and managed by the Cook family for more than 40 years. The building incorporates two grand semi detached Victorian houses which is comprised of 12 en-suite rooms, a bar and a large ball room.

As well as this, the hotel hosts meetings of numerous local clubs including Barrow’s Rotary Club.

Bill Jaughin, a Barrow Rotary Club member and frequent visitor of The Lisdoonie,said: “The sale will be a matter of great regret to many organisations in the town.The club has always had a good relationship with the owners and from a personal point I wish them all the best.

“I’m unsure of future plans but I know it will be sadly missed by the community.”

A Co-op spokesman said: “Barrow is an area we are looking at for new stores along with sites throughout Cumbria, but we have no specific plans at this stage.”