The groundwork is being laid for a brighter future for the troubled Bede's World site - with plans to re-open the culture spot reaching an 'advanced' stage.
The heritage centre closed its doors in February after lurching into financial difficulties.
But the historic Jarrow venue, which celebrates the life and times of the Venerable Bede, was given a lifeline when charity Groundwork stepped in with a bid to take over the site.
Now Groundwork is in the final stages of negotiations with South Tyneside Council, which took back control of the venue after the charitable trust which ran Bede’s World went into liquidation.
The charity has also launched a partnership with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums to help with the future running of Bede’s World.
Andrew Watts, Executive Director of Groundwork STAN, said: “We are in advanced negotiations with the council and during this period we are all committed to ensuring that essential maintenance to the site is ongoing. We look forward to being in a position to confirm when we are able to open our doors to the people of the North East and beyond.”
Iain Watson, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: “We are excited about sharing our expertise in order to support Groundwork to ensure a successful future for the museum.
Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “We continue to support Groundwork as it develops its plans for the site. It provides us with an ideal opportunity to reshape and improve the museum.”