A MID Cheshire building could be thrown a lifeline by the BBC.
But it will be the viewers of Restoration who will hold the fate of the Lion Salt Works in Marston in their hands as they choose a winner from 21 threatened architectural gems.
The series returns on Saturday night, and viewers will be able to pick which wins and receives up to £3.5m to help renovate the historic site.
'It's great news,' said the Lion Salt Works Trust's Andrew Fielding. 'We didn't set out to be on this programme, but we are delighted to have been chosen as the North West's sole representative.'
The Lion Salt Works is the last remaining open-pan salt works in Britain, using traditional techniques unchanged since Roman times. It is one of only three left in the western world, and its buildings are characterised by timber-framed structures, built to counter the effects of salt-mining subsidence in the area.
Located beside the Trent and Mersey Canal, the Lion Salt Works exported salt throughout the British Empire, often leading to claims of exploitation and oppression from the colonies, most famously illustrated by Mahatma Gandhi's salt marches in the 1930s.
Five generations of the Thompson family ran the business from the 19th Century to its closure in 1986, leaving this unique relic as a monument to an industry which gave this region its economic lifeblood and was a direct descendent of the massive chemical industry, such as ICI, prevalent in the area today.
English Heritage provided the producers of Restoration with a list of possible sites that could be featured on the show.
In December staff from the production company, Endemol, came to look around the Salt Works and, in February, Trust members were told they were in with a chance of being featured. Official confirmation came this week.
Mr Fielding added: 'It is quite a re-cognition for the building and our project to restore it because this shows that outsiders think we are worth covering.'
Last summer Restoration raised £3.5m for the winning building, Victoria Baths in Manchester, and Salt Works bosses hope they may be in line for a similar windfall.
'We need about £4.5m to carry out the restoration of the salt works and to do everything,' said Mr Fielding. 'We will be putting in a Lottery bid later this year, but if we are successful on Restoration we could get as much as £3.5m.
'Even if we don't win, we hope the programme's coverage will bring a lot of new people to the project and a lot more tourists to the Northwich area.'
In Saturday's hour-long launch programme, Restoration - The Story Continues..., presenter Griff Rhys Jones will unveil 21 threatened sites across the UK. As well as the Salt Works, others featured include Portencross Castle in Ayrshire, a lock-keeper's cottage in Belfast, Cardigan Castle in Wales and Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire.
Mr Fielding added: 'All the buildings featured in the last series of Restoration have benefited one way or another.
'We see this as a great way of forwarding our project.' Andrew Fielding is keen to speak to potential volunteers - call 01606 41823.