Plans to turn Buile Hill Mansion into a drama school have fallen through due to financial uncertainty created by the coronavirus.
Salford council and Salford City College planned to restore the Grade II building into part of the college campus as a centre for drama. It would also have been used for community groups.
The council has already pledged £1.2m towards the cost of restoring the mansion and the college intended to contribute another £1m.
The drama school was considered a feasible option after a series of rescue ideas over the years were unsuccessful.
Former Liberal Democrat Councillor Mary Ferrer, a long-time campaigner for the Mansion, said: “To be totally honest I’m not surprised at this moment in time, the country is in financial crisis.
“Every time I feel we are moving forward something happens and we are back to square one.”
“The Mansion has been tinned up for 20 years and it will not survive another 10 years, never mind 20 years. I am in the process of looking at finding funds to help renovate the mansion.
“The Mayor has stated he is passionate about returning the mansion to its former glory. But we have to look further to find funding. Our council just haven’t got the funds.”
However, Mr Dennett insists the council is still committed to saving the building. He said:
“I want to make it clear that the restoration of the mansion remains a priority – I absolutely want to bring it back to life again at the earliest possible opportunity and have allocated significant Council financial resources that will assist in delivering that outcome.”
“The Council will now work with the established community groups to look again at options to getting the mansion restored and back in use in accordance with the public use vision the Council and the Buile Hill Mansion Association (BHMA) has for the building.
“A working group, including the community groups will be formed and will meet to drive the project forward.”
“Local people will play a fundamental part of any future proposals.”