Rosefield Mills in Troqueer failed to sell at auction in Glasgow in February, but Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust now have until December to negotiate its purchase directly from the owners.
Mark Zygaldo from the trust said: “Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust have an agreement to purchase the riverfront part of the site — the brick and sandstone building that faces the river and a part of the site behind — and we are working to put together a funding package to complete the purchase, to save and restore the building and to find a new use for it which will be for the local and wider community’s benefit.”
He added: “It is a very exciting project focused on a landmark building, the last of the town’s Victorian mills that once lined the river below St Michael’s Bridge, part of our heritage, part of our identity.
“Our aim is to bring it back to meaningful life in the heart of Dumfries.”
The imposing Category B listed property did not sell at auction, but the area between the riverfront section and Troqueer Road did sell and the trust say a meeting has taken place with the new owners.
The possible purchase of Rosefield Mills was brought up at a meeting of Loreburn Community Council on Tuesday.
Dumfries and Galloway Council senior planner Mizzy Marshall said: “It’s very encouraging to know that Rosefield Mills has the potential for a new buyer and we’d be very supportive of that and do everything we can to help them to do that.”
Newly-elected Nith Ward councillor John Campbell said: “It looks like it’s going to take a lot of money just to do that.
“You’re working in millions there.”
In response, Ms Marshall said: “But it’s probably the same with all of the old buildings — you have to find an end use.”
While Ms Marshall expressed her optimism, the community council’s chairman acknowledged the scale of challenge ahead.
Robin Wishart said: “I think it’s a very brave person who takes on the development of Rosefield Mills.”