FORMER session musicians are hoping a five-year ambition to bring a new live theatre venue to Croydon is close to being realised.
Samuel Facey, Mark Nicholson and Dave Prince run the DOXA Partnership, which describes itself as a company using the creative arts as a "tool of engagement" with the community.
Operating out of offices in Union Road, West Croydon, the partnership members have been searching for suitable premises for their arts venue venture.
Mr Facey said: "We had been unable to find anywhere suitable until I came across the Pilton industrial estate at Pitlake by accident when I was out walking. I noticed there was an empty warehouse to let and we approached the owners about renting it. I did not even know the estate existed before then."
The result of this chance discovery is the partners submitting a planning application to Croydon Council seeking to turn the building into a multifunctional auditorium and performance space.
The aim is to provide a theatre, rehearsal space, a music studio and education and training facilities. If planning permission is granted, it will be open seven days a week for performances with a maximum capacity of 250 people.
DOXA also want to make the facilities open to local community groups and possibly hire them out to a church for services.
But it is the theatre aspect of the project which is exciting Mr Facey the most.
He said they wanted to use the expertise they had gained over the past 25 years to put something back in to the community.
And high on the list of aims is offering facilities for the production of new plays.
Mr Facey said: "This is what is missing from Croydon. The Warehouse Theatre was very good at doing that but there has been nothing like it in Croydon since it was closed."
He added: "We want to produce in-house ourselves but we will also have the facility to allow outside producers to come in and stage their own shows."
Mr Facey said DOXA believed the premises were in a good location, within easy walking distance of West Croydon bus and railway stations and tram stops.
The centre would also provide new jobs and bring a building which has been empty since 2009 back into use.