Members of the Barnstaple Buildings Preservation Trust have held positive talks with developers of the towns Anchorwood Bank to discuss the future of the Oliver Buildings.Representatives met with Andrew Pegg, managing director of Wessex Investors, and North Devon Council leader Des Brailey to outline ambitious plans to buy the former Shapland and Petter buildings and create a centre of excellence for local artists and craftsmen. As revealed by the Gazette in September, their idea for a cultural gateway to Barnstaple would feature workshops, studios, exhibition, performance and learning space. The trust successfully applied to English Heritage to list the buildings, a decision now being challenged by developers. Architect John Alexander said he hoped the meeting would open doors to the trusts vision to create a cultural gateway to Barnstaple. He said: I felt it was as positive as it could be. They have invited us to talk to their consultants, which is a movement towards better communication. The feedback from the developer was that they havent decided what they can do with the buildings. They said they are going to pursue the appeal for listing and they dont know what will happen until they know the result of that appeal. They have offered us another meeting and we hope well be able to meet up soon and open some more doors. Trust chairman Jonathan Rodney-Jones added: The next stage will be to get a letter of intent from the developer to say that they would potentially work with us that way we can start drawing some funding. Mr Pegg said the meeting with the trust was an initial exchange of their ideas. It was the first time we had heard them in any detail, he said. It has to be remembered that the Oliver Buildings are an integral part of the regeneration of our site they are not just a stand-alone opportunity. But we are interested in their views and the views of the local community. At the moment we are waiting for the outcome of the listing review and will not be commenting any further before the outcome of that review. Council leader Councillor Brailey said the meeting was amicable and explored a possible way forward. He said: At the moment its all up in the air. The trust discussed what it would like to do with the buildings and Andrew Pegg took that on board. It was very positive. Mr Brailey said his main priority was to ensure the completion of the project whatever that may be. What I want is that we get on with the project; at the moment its all in limbo, he said. I want the development to move along, but at the end of the day they have got to look at the viability of what is being offered. The listing comes with its own problems and being the planning authority, we have to ensure the development is sympathetic to that. At the moment, its listed and thats what we have to run with.