City of Lincoln Council wants to relaunch the thousand-year-old Greyfriars in Lincoln as a heritage attraction after receiving £175,000 lottery funding.
The project, called re-imagining Greyfriars: 800 years of stories in the making, aims to repair the Grade I listed building and bring it back as a heritage attraction, as well as conserving it.
Greyfriars is the oldest surviving Franciscan Church in Western Europe, with much of the building as it stands today dating back to the 1230s.
In 1539, monastic properties in Lincoln were surrendered to the crown, which led Greyfriars to be converted to a private dwelling before turning into a free school.
After using the upper floor as a school and then the Lincoln Grammar School until 1900, it was restored for use as a museum, before it moved to a purpose-built site in 2004.
Since then, the building has been empty barring the occasional use for temporary arts exhibitions.
Cllr Neil Murray, portfolio holder for economic growth and historic environment advocate at CoLC, said: “Greyfriars is a much-loved heritage spot in the city, and to be able to breath new life into this building is great news.
“Over the years, the building has had a number of uses from a school, to most recently a museum.
“We are also looking to gain funding for this important project through the national Town Deal Fund, where we recently submitted our investment plan for £24.75 million.
“We look forward to sharing this important history and restoring the building to its former glory.”
Greg Pickup, CEO of Heritage Lincolnshire said: “We are very excited to be part of Greyfriars future.
“As the most active building preservation trust in the region we believe that saving this internationally important building, and giving it a new use which utilises cutting edge technology to tell 800 years of stories, will engage a new generation in Lincolnshire’s heritage.”