A community group is one step closer to creating a heritage centre in Cullen.
However, the B-listed building, parts of which date from the 1820s, was saved by Milne Property Developments, run by local man Charles Milne.
He planned to revamp the neighbouring Seafield Arms Hotel, and create an extension in the Town Hall.
However the lower level, including the Memorial Hall, was to be leased for the sum of £1 a year to the Cullen, Deskford and Portknockie Heritage Group.
Soon after, the group hatched plans to create a heritage exhibition on the ground floor of the Memorial Hall, to showcase the very best history from across the Moray coast.
Now, listed building consent has been granted by Moray Council so that work can begin on the hall’s ground floor to prepare for the development.
The council ruled: “Careful consideration has been given to minimise the physical and visual impact of the proposed alterations on the listed building by ensuring that any works to add/remove partitions is ultimately reversible.
“Overall the proposed changes and refurbishment works will not have a detrimental impact on the character or special historic interest of the listed building.
“Features of historic interest are being preserved where possible.”
Cullen Town Hall was built as part of significant early 19th century improvements to the burgh, instigated by the Earl of Seafield, and became a “significant streetscape presence” in the new town of Cullen.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of the hall reopening following a 13-year closure after it was badly damaged by a projection box fire in 1942.
It is hoped that archives of documents and photographs of past times dating from the late 19th Century could go on display once renovation work has been completed in the building to shine a light on life in the area from decades ago.