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WWII PoW camp up for sale on eBay

29 September 09 12:01 GMT

A former Prisoner of War camp in County Durham is being sold on eBay.

Harperley camp, near Crook, was turned into a tourist attraction in 2004, but the owners can no longer afford to complete its restoration.

The camp housed German and Italian prisoners in World War II and 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. It has gone on sale for £900,000.

Mr McLeod, 41, said he and his wife had spent about £1m 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, a museum, as well as the original 49 prisoner huts.

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

He said: "It has great potential. And if someone came along with the money we would still like to be involved."

He said at least another £1m was needed to complete the restoration of the camp, but that the return on the proposals already in place could be huge.

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

It narrowly missed out on a £2m windfall when it was featured on the BBC's Restoration programme, but failed to gain enough public votes to win.

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