Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

WWII prison camp for sale on eBay

Harperley Prisoner of War camp at Weardale in County Durham
James and Lisa McLeod, the current owners of Harperley Prisoner of War camp
Undated English Heritage handout photo of Harperley Prisoner of War camp at Weardale in County Durham, which is being sold on eBay for nearly £1 million. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 29, 2009. The camp, near Crook, County Durham, housed German and Italian prisoners in World War II. It won ancient monument status after being bought by its present owners in 2001. See PA story HERITAGE Camp. Photo credit should read: English Heritage/PA Wire

A former prisoner of war camp is being sold on eBay for nearly £1 million.

Harperley Prisoner of War Camp was turned into a tourist attraction in 2004 but the owners can no longer afford to complete its restoration.

The camp, near Crook, Co Durham, housed German and Italian prisoners during the Second World War.

It won ancient monument status after being bought by its present owners in 2001.

James and Lisa McLeod had hoped to turn it into a national visitor centre but can no longer afford to complete the work and are selling it for £900,000.

Mr McLeod (41) said he and his wife had spent about £1 million on the 12-acre site over the past eight years but had to mothball their venture two years ago through lack of funds.

The site now boasts a garden centre, restaurant, farm shop and museum, as well as the original 49 prisoner huts.

The camp hosts an original theatre built by the former inmates and huts containing prisoners' wall paintings.

Mr and Mrs McLeod's home is also on the site and there is planning permission for 13 holiday homes.

“We have put the camp up for sale because we have run out of money,” Mr McLeod said.

“We cannot take the project on any further and we need someone to come on board and take it on.

“It is a great business opportunity but needs a cash injection. Ideally if someone takes it on we would love to stay on and work here.

“I have learned a lot and met a lot of interesting people through the research we did into the history of the camp and the people who came here.

“When it is up and running, it will be a little gold mine for somebody with the money to invest.”

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