Work has already started on patching up the Brighton Hippodrome its new owners have said.
Councillors are being asked to issue an urgent works notice after previous owners allowed the Grade II* listed venue to become dangerously derelict.
But new owners Matsim say they started work on making repairs the day the sale was completed, last Friday.
They also say they are happy to meet Brighton Hippodrome CIC – a company set up in 2015 by campaigners who hoped to take on the building themselves – to discuss future plans for the theatre.
Andy Lambor from Matsim said: “We are aware of the works required by the potential works notice and we started them on Friday. I’m sure you will see quick progress in the next few weeks.
“We are just catching our breath and will have a meeting this week to discuss everything.
“Personally I think we should give everyone the opportunity to come up with something viable. I have no doubt that we will meet the CIC group very quickly.”
David Fisher from the Brighton Hippodrome CIC said it was keen to meet with the owners as it had spent considerable time drawing up detailed plans to restore the venue as a large scale theatre – something no previous owner has wanted to do.
He said: “We are going through planning application process – we have finished the pre application and that was very positive. Both the council and Historic England raised some issues, but were generally very supportive of what we have proposed.
“We support the urgent works notice and we will be asking that it still goes ahead. This is about the building, not the new owners.
“If Matsim are very keen to get on with making sure the building is repaired, that’s very good news.
“Obviously we would be very happy to talk to them. We have a plan to restore the theatre as a large scaled theatre that the city is in desperate need of and if they’re willing to consider that opportunity we would be very keen to talk to them.
“Our plans show that it would be viable and sustainable over the long term. We think our plan is workable because is by a not for profit organisation. We have access to grants that aren’t open to private companies, and can raise the money for the restoration.”
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