HISTORIC Healing's Mill has finally been sold and hopes are high that its development will help regenerate Tewkesbury.
Civic chiefs have welcomed the sale of the riverside site, which had been left unused for several years.
It has been bought by the St Francis Group, which is based in Warwickshire and helps prepare sites across the country for re-development.
Nobody from St Francis was available for comment so it is not known how much it paid previous owner ADM Milling.
Late last year, through the London office of estate agent BNP Paribas, ADM Milling put the freehold of the whole site up for sale.
The 19th century mill building and three other sites spread over 4.97 acres around Quay Street were put on the market. No guide price was given, but the property was billed as being suitable for a "mixed use development", subject to planning permission being obtained.
Many people in Tewkesbury have looked on with sadness as the landmark building has deteriorated since it closed as a flour mill in November 2006.
Julie Wood, the borough council's economic development and tourism manager, said of the sale: "It's brilliant news. It's good for Tewkesbury because somebody feels it's worth investing in the town."
She said no details about what might happen to the site had emerged yet but she would be talking to the selling agents to see if she could establish contact with the new owners.
In the near future, she said, she would expect them to contact the council to hold talks ahead of submitting a planning application.
Alan Purkiss, chairman of Tewkesbury Civic Society, said he shared Mrs Wood's optimism following the sale. He said: "It's tempered with a little caution. What we don't want is the wrong kind of development in Tewkesbury."
There is a development brief for the site that was put together by the borough council, with community input. It calls for the site to be used for a mixture of residential, business and retail purposes.
Mr Purkiss said he hoped the new owners would look to follow the guidelines outlined in the brief.
He said: "If those sort of things come in, that would be great."