Leicester Haymarket Theatre 'could reopen'
A theatre in Leicester city centre that has been disused for almost a decade could reopen by 2017.
The Haymarket Theatre would be run by a new consortium as both a performance and training venue.
Mayor Peter Soulsby has promised £2.2m for the project, which will need additional funding from private backers.
Sir Peter said the building had cost the council £1.5m since the theatre closed in 2007.
"When the council signed a 99-year lease for the theatre back in 1974, it couldn't have anticipated that the facility would be made redundant 33 years later and become such a huge burden on public funds," he said.
"Doing nothing with the building has already cost the council around £1.5m, so it's time to bite the bullet and turn this liability into an asset for the city."
Consortium director Jed Spittle said: "Our aim is to create a fully-equipped professional performance and rehearsal space - complete with bar and catering facilities.
"From 2020, that income will cover the costs of the annual service charges - and finally put an end to the city council's financial responsibilities for the building."
The former theatre could be hired out as rehearsal space or a dance studio and could also be used as a venue for awards dinners, party nights and conferences.
In 2011, plans to convert the once-popular theatre into a £6.5m youth centre were abandoned.
The Haymarket closed after ongoing funding problems in 2007 and was replaced by the £61m Curve arts centre, which opened in November 2008.