Campaigners looking to breathe new life into a historic Moray building have edged closer to their dream after applying to take over the building.
Grant Lodge has remained disused for more than a decade since a fire ripped through the basement 15 years ago.
Two rival proposals for the future of the well-known building were initially put forward by the council and campaign group Grant Lodge Trust.
However, the council then gave the group the go ahead to submit a community asset transfer (CAT) application which has now been lodged.
The group wants to reopen the site as a heritage centre which will be dedicated to showcasing food and drink from across the region.
It is hoped it can also be used as a wedding venue.
Trust chairman Grenville Johnston said he was pleased that the application had now been submitted.
He said: “I’m relieved and delighted to finally to get it done as we have had the good fortune of getting support from TSI Moray who helped us get a project manager to prepare it.
“We’ve held all our public consultations and dealt with all the procedures and after a long and torturous process we have lodged the CAT and have to wait and see what the councillors decide to do with it.
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“My aim remains the same, restoring Grant Lodge and getting it back into use for the community.”
The council will decide whether it makes sense to lease the lodge to the trust but will first have to go through the courts to get permission to change its use from a library.
Money will then need to be raised to pay for the refurbishment of the building.
However, Mr Johnston believes funding from the Moray Growth Deal which is being discussed could provide enough cash for the refurbishment, although warned it would take some time to get it up and running.
He said: “We are working hard with the Moray Growth Deal to allow us to be involved with it and this is the best opportunity for us.
“However, it could well be three or four years before it will be ready, as we need the permission, then the funding and finally the restoring.”