A community group in Crieff is hoping to turn a historic abandoned church into a new museum for the town.
Members of the Crieff Museum group are looking to transform Old St Michael’s on Church Street, which has been abandoned since 2012, into a new local history museum.
The former church is high on the list of properties the group are looking at but any potential move into the church could be scuppered as nobody currently owns the building.
Bobby Salmond, chairman of Crieff Museum, said: “There’s a problem with the building in that it’s ownerless so we need to gain ownership of it before we can turn it into a museum.
“Obviously if we want to attract funding then we would need to get the ownership.
“There’s sums being bandied about like £2-3 million to turn it into something we could use but it is also quite a unique building as it is probably the oldest building in Crieff – if not the oldest then certainly one of the oldest.”
The former church and community hall was built in 1786 but has been without owners since a martial arts group abandoned the property seven years ago and it has since fallen into a state of disrepair.
It is now cared for by a group called the Friends of Old St Michael’s (FOOSM), a voluntary organisation who work to maintain the churchyard and former community hall.
Craig Finlay, FOOSM secretary, said: “Between 2012 and 2015 the doors were wide open and people were going in to take drugs and drink.
“If we hadn’t gone in then it probably wouldn’t be standing here today.
“Our group was approached by the Crieff Museum group and what they want to do is bring a visiting centre to Crieff but they need a venue.
“What we want to do as the Friends of Old St Michael’s is fundraise and get a grant for an invasive survey of the building to make sure that the structure of the building has a future.”
Peter Littwin, chairman of FOOSM, said: “We have recently been approached by two groups who have a vision for using the hall, so our task is to investigate how sturdy the building is, and what costs would be involved in bringing it back to life.”
The other organisation interested in taking over the historic building is an “arts based” group.