Will Leicester's Haymarket Theatre become a bar?
The Haymarket Theatre could be transformed into an entertainment and leisure venue, it has been revealed.
A potential investor has put forward detailed proposals to renovate the building in Belgrave Gate, which closed in 2007.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "We're at a stage where we can't give away too many details of what's planned or which firm is behind it, but I'm encouraged by their interest.
"Since becoming mayor I've repeatedly said how keen I am to bring this building back into use, and a number of companies have already expressed interest.
"It's a large building which can offer countless opportunities to a developer, and I've got an open mind when it comes to what the building could be used for."
Last summer the council put a 66-year lease on the venue up for sale, with a guide price of at least £500,000.
The theatre has been standing empty since its last show in January 2007.
Plans to convert the building into a multi-million pound youth centre had to be abandoned last year after the council said it could not afford the scheme.
City centre shoppers said they were heartened that the theatre could be brought back into use.
John Sloan, 33, from Aylestone, said: "It was a cracking theatre in its day and it was a shame when it closed.
"Belgrave Gate is a bit tatty now and has seen better days, so perhaps a new destination venue in this part of town could help reverse the street's fortunes.
"A new theatre, or even a large bar or nightclub would be better than the shell that's there now."
Maria Humphrey, 50, from Belgrave, said: "The Haymarket Theatre has been missed in the city centre and I hope that the council cuts a deal with a developer to do something with the building.
"It's in a central location so I'm surprised that a developer hasn't snapped it up already."
Martin Herbert, of Lambert Smith Hampton estate agency, said the site could be used as a bar, restaurant or nightclub development.
He said: "If the council took it back to a shell unit with a single floor, or two floors, then it could be suitable for a bar or restaurant or similar venue."
Sir Peter said both he and council officers would continue to work with interested developers over the next few months.
He said he hoped firm plans for the Haymarket could be drawn up soon.