A long-standing Fleetwood church faced with closure could stay open to the public after it was thrown a lifeline.
A new proposal being put forward would see Mount Methodist Church, which is currently due to shut its doors at the end of the year, stay open to the community.
Plans to turn it into a multi-purpose arts venue would still spell the end of church services in the building, on Mount Road, but the group looking to buy the property said its idea would benefit the port.
Fleetwood Plus Community Interest Company has submitted a Community Right to Bid application, which – if successful – would grant them six months to come up with the money to buy the building.
Director George Greenall said: “It could actually be a saving grace for the church.”
However, the plans look to have come too late to prevent Busy Bee Pre-School, which has been based at the church for the last 25 years, moving.
Owners Jane and Stuart NcNair have been told they will have to leave by the end of the year and said they cannot afford to wait to see if Mr Greenall’s bid is successful.
Mr McNair said: “When we come back from half-term in November we will have seven weeks left – that’s scary.
“Talks are at an advanced stage with another church in the Fleetwood area over the use of their building. This is our last hope.”
He welcomed Mr Greenall’s plan for the church but said it had come a few months too late for the pre-school.
He added: “It is a wonderful gesture but I don’t think it is going to help us.”
Mr Greenall said the church could be a cornerstone of a new “community quarter” he hopes to set up in the port.
He added: “What we plan to do is run it as a multi-functional community venue.
“We would then look at other events that would be going on throughout the year and have a diary of events that would complement each other.”]
It was announced earlier this year that the church would close at the end of December because of financial pressures.