The Friends of Bingham Manor House are wanting to restore the historic 17th Century building to be used by the community could apply to the Town Council for up to £500,000 in funding.
The Grade 2 listed building has stood empty for at least 15 years. The project is expected to cost around £1.4 million and the group is preparing to bid for up to £1.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund – this requires a 10% local authority match funding and any council grant would include up to £180,000 match funding.
The ground will also seek funds from other sources which could include asking the council for help from its community chest, some which is earmarked for a community centre.
Other options include asking the council for a loan or involving it as partner in the project. The council has previously agreed in principle to provide money for the project.
The Friends of Bingham Manor House are looking into three options of what the renovation and development could become, with the idea of including a small or large hall at the back to be used by the community.
A large all would have a 250 seater auditorium, a meeting room for 40-50 people, a heritage room, dance studio, community radio studio, music room and six offices. School Governors and Nottinghamshire County Council have agreed to this in principle.
The second option is a smaller hall with a 150 seater auditorium could be built in the yard at the rear of the house.
The third option would be not to build a hall.
Geoff Ashton, Chairman of The Friends of Bingham Manor House, told the Town Council that building a hall would be the more sustainable option.
A public consultation at the summer town fair and library revealed that 3/4 of those people asked support a community hall.
Mr Ashton stated: “We firmly believe that working together we have the ability to deliver a long-awaited community centre in the town centre.
“Every public consultation during the last 35 years has shown a need for one.
“The Manor House has presented a great opportunity to provide a community centre in the town centre for years to come.”
He has also hoped that the lack of parking would be improved before the completed renovation.
Mrs Maureen Stockwood said she has spoken to the owner, who said the building would also be suitable for two starter homes. She stated that this option should be explored.