A new report has found that buildings formerly used by the horse tramway on Douglas Promenade can be repaired despite original belief that it needed to be demolished.

It comes just weeks after the Department of Infrastructure (DOI) announcement of an early finish to this year's tram season was necessary to demolish 1-3 of Tramway Terrace.

Contractors registered with government were invited to provide a quotation to carry out the emergency demolition straightaway, but in a complete U-turn a new report has discovered that the historic property can be repaired.

Tramway Terrace 1-3 are registered buildings, and backlash of plans to flatten them came from heritage campaigners, as registered building consent is usually required before a protected building can be either demolished or altered.

A tender exercise was launched last month to identify firms able to partially demolish the buildings, constructed as part of the Isle of Man horse tram stable complex in 1877 and in ownership of government since 2018, after a government and independent report flagged ‘immediate safety concerns’.

While this process was taking place, and due to the buildings’ registered status, an accredited conservation engineer was appointed to inspect the properties and provide their opinion.

The report by Mann Williams Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers has now concluded that, while there are some localised areas requiring urgent work, the building is ‘repairable’.

Following the findings, and actions taken to make the building safe in the short-term, the tender exercise has been paused while options are explored to look at what should be addressed most urgently, such as water ingress.

Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall MHK said: ‘We are looking at what can be done in the short and longer-term to secure the future of the buildings, so we can take the appropriate actions.

‘We have been working with colleagues in the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture and welcome the findings of the specialist’s report. While safety concerns correctly triggered the tender process for possible demolition, the findings of the latest report mean this has now been halted to examine how we can find a positive outcome.’

Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture Clare Barber MHK said: ‘The demolition of a registered building will always be the last resort after all other options have been robustly considered, DEFA officers will continue to provide advice in respect of this registered terrace as they do for all owners of protected buildings.’