Disused stables at Haworth Art Gallery could be turned into an art studio and information centre under new plans.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the Accrington gallery £46,500 towards developing plans to convert the 100-year-old stables, motor house and petrol store.
Once the developmental and consultation phase has taken place, there will be a second round bid which, if successful, will see the application go ahead.
Yvonne Robins, gallery coordinator, said the ‘very exciting project’ could be completed by 2016.
She said: “The stables and the motor house were built at the same time as the house but I doubt they’ve been used since the 1950s.
“They’ve basically just been used for storage but it’s got a fascinating history. This is our opportunity to put some new life back into it for the benefit of everybody.
“This is an extremely exciting project that will open up new opportunities for artists, visitors and local community groups.”
Consultation has been taking place with a wide variety of community groups over the past few months with community groups and stakeholders.
Yvonne said: “The winning idea is to convert it into artists studios as there’s no such facility that’s available for groups to use.
“It makes sense as the artists can rent out the studios and then sell their work in our shop. They can also do workshops.”
The second phase application to the Heritage Lottery Fund will be made by August with a decision by December.
Yvonne said, if successful, work would begin in early 2015 and the studio would be open by the following year.
An open consultation evening with the architects to examine the plans was held on May 22.