A CAMPAIGN has been launched to give a neglected town centre building a second chance.

Bishop’s Castle and District Community Land Trust is calling on residents to support their plans to buy and convert the former Stars Newsagents into a space that will benefit the town.

The building in Church Street has been left empty since 2015, and residents have described it as becoming an “eyesore”.

“Empty for five years, and smack in the middle of town, this building deserves a second chance,” Bishop’s Castle and District Community Land Trust said.

“Converted into affordable housing and community resource on the ground floor, it will no longer be a neglected eyesore. Bishop’s Castle Community Land Trust has asked Shropshire Council to take out a Compulsory Purchase Order to save it from further neglect.

“We need your help to demonstrate a compelling case for this to happen”.

Ideas include a workspace on the ground floor and two flats above the former shop.

Campaigners say it has the full support of Bishop’s Castle Town Council, and the Bishop’s Castle Civic Society.

Shropshire County Councillor for Bishop’s Castle Ruth Houghton said the proposals have generated “a lot of debate and support” for the redevelopment of run down town premises.

Cllr Houghton said: “The sight of empty shop fronts, with their vacant windows above, is a blight on any high street and an indicator of economic decline.

“The present state of the former Stars Newsagent is a particular cause for concern”.

A dedicated website to the campaign launched last week for supporters to sign a petition.

To sign it go to http://savethestars.org.uk/

Cllr Houghton added: “Post Covid-19 it will be hard work to attract visitors back to Bishop’s Castle so we need to make our high street as inviting as possible.

“By working together as a community there is a chance that we may be able to do something about this empty shop which local residents have been unhappy about for many years.”