Apartments now stand where the West County Hotel once traded on Millom's Market Square, the days of the latter being the town's go-to venue for food and entertainment long gone.

Sadly, the premises had long fallen into decline and had stood empty for almost a decade by the time plans were made into converting the building into 12 affordable town centre homes.

This at least saved the building from demolition, as it had fallen into a poor condition, with Millom residents feeling it spoiled the rest of the square.

The ten-bedroom hotel had closed by 2003 and had been hit by vandalism, with several of its windows broken.

Newsagent owner Ann Moffat told The Mail: "It's horrible, it lets the place down. The owners should do something with it."

Taxi firm owner Steve Stroud added: "It is one of the first things people coming to Millom see. It's not very good for their first impressions."

Part of its decline could be traced back to a fire that began in the manager's flat in June 1994 that gutted several rooms, but was thankfully put out by the fire brigade before it could reach the whole building.

Half of the bar on the bottom floor was lost to smoke damage, but remarkably the hotel remained open for business for the rest of the day and thankfully nobody was injured by the blaze.