CAMPAIGNERS have been offered a possible lifeline in the battle to save Mr Smiths after they were given the chance to suggest alternatives to demolition.

LPC Living, the property developers handling the site, met with campaigners last week.

Following the meeting it said a 'short window' was available to discuss a 'commercially viable future' for Smiths, although the intention is still to knock it down.

A spokesman for LPC Living said: “We discussed how the Pervaiz Naviede Family Trust had acquired the building around four years ago and despite extensive marketing there had been difficulties in securing a letting.

“Prospective tenants shown around the building had reservations about the large size of the property, access issues, ongoing maintenance and the cost to convert to other uses.

“We explained that ultimately the decision to clear the site was a reluctant one and was not taken lightly.

“We also confirmed no decisions have been made about any future redevelopment of the site.

“While it is still the intention to proceed with demolition, the earliest this can take place is August 11.

“However, it is likely to take a couple of months of investigations and preparatory work before the building could come down.

“Therefore this provided the group with a short window to explore options as to whether a community-led project could provide a commercially viable future for the building.”

LPC added a further meeting could take place to discuss options.