WINGHAM, ONT. -- The Municipality of Central Huron now owns an old jail.

“This acquisition checks all the priorities of council, including creating regional economic development opportunities, avoiding developmental delay and ensuring environmental stewardship of an important property,” says Central Huron Mayor Jim Ginn.

Central Huron has signed an agreement to buy the former Bluewater Youth Detention Centre from Infrastructure Ontario.

The former juvenile jail, located on Highway 21 just south of Goderich, sits on 300 acres of shoreline property, but has been sitting idle since being closed by the provincial government in 2012.

Central Huron has plans to remediate the site to “pristine condition,” and then lease it back to prospective developers.

Ideas floated in the past for the sprawling property include manufacturing, housing and even a shoreline resort.

“Council has seen investor-owned real estate site idle, that could have been put to use generating immediate economic opportunities. We now have the keys to this important property and look forward to announcing a prospective lessee shortly,” says Ginn.

Central Huron expects remediation of the former Bluewater Youth Centre site to take up to two years.

Council has set aside $5 million for the purchase and remediation of the site.