A LARGE established cafe in the heart of Bournemouth town centre could be sold – if someone stumps up the £1million asking price.

The Obscura Cafe in the middle of Bournemouth Square is available on leasehold terms.

The venue, which is described as one of the town's "most recognisable buildings" by estate agents, can reportedly house 116 customers internally and 300 externally. The online listing details it as being in a "prime location".

Owner Grant Rayner said he has interested parties often asking if the cafe is available to takeover or manage.

He said: "We have had it for many, many years. We were looking at moving it on a couple of years ago and didn't.

"We get continual offers and interest from parties and we were persuaded by Savills to put it on the market and see what is out there."

When it opened in 2000, Mr Rayner said the £250,000 cafe promised "something special", with a camera obscura on its first floor described as "a feather in Bournemouth's cap" by Brigid Carroll, the town centre manager at that time.

Much debate followed over the operation and availability of the camera to the public.

Mr Rayner said the camera is still in situ in the first floor, however, he added that it is "a bit of white elephant" due to having trees and buildings around it.

"It would be mixed emotions if it did get sold," he added. "I built it. I went through all the initial work to get permission for it and it will be sad if it goes but we are not desperate to move it on.

"It is a case of as we do get continual interest, just seeing what is really out there."

A description by estate agents Savills says the cafe is "unique".

They add: "It was built approximately 20 years ago and is one of Bournemouth's most recognisable buildings.

"The two storey, pavilion-like structure has been designed to maximise its orientation to a south facing aspect and offer a year round opportunity for customers to enjoy the hospitality on offer."

The lease for the cafe, which has seating space over two floors, currently has 29 years unexpired.

The Obscura Cafe holds a premises licence permitting the sale of alcohol from 8am to 1am seven days a week to be consumed either within the property or on the demised outside terrace.

The estate agents add: "The Obscura Cafe is in a prime location within Bournemouth town centre.

"There is a constantly high level of footfall around the property given its centre of town position and proximity to the retail areas of Commercial Road and Old Christchurch Road, The Central and Lower Gardens, the Bournemouth International Centre (for concerts and conferences of up to 10,000 people), the Pier and the eight miles of blue-flagged beaches."