One of Birmingham's best loved night-spots has been saved from the bulldozer.
Edgbaston's Tower Ballroom, which was set to be demolished, will now return to the spotlight as a major dance hall venue.
Businessman Liam O'Connor, who owns pubs and clubs in Birmingham, Nottingham and Hull, has agreed a 25-year deal with owners Countrywide Homes and hopes to re-open it by Easter.
With its two bars, VIP lounge and original revolving stage, the Tower aims to be a top venue for over-25s with an emphasis on the current craze of ballroom dancing.
There will also be cabaret nights and Liam, whose daughter Rachel will be licensee, hopes to attract back some of the big names of the 1960s such as the Tremeloes, the Fortunes and the Rockin' Berries, along with 60s-style tribute bands. Professional and amateur boxing will also make a comeback and Liam will also encourage the Tower to be used for various community activities, including weddings.
The dance hall, which has stood on the banks of Edgbaston Reservoir for more than 70 years, closed on New Year's Eve 2005 amid controversial plans from Countrywide to build up to 90 homes on the site. Local people objected strongly and held demonstrations outside Birmingham Council House.
But now the Tower is undergoing a £150,000 makeover and every effort is being made to keep its look original with a firm emphasis on nostalgia.
Even former bar manager Vicky Sherwyn is returning, having been promoted to general manager.
"The interest in what we are doing is incredible," said Limerick-born Liam, who runs The Midland Pub Company Ltd, which includes the Kerryman in High Street Digbeth, the Bromford Inn in Washwood Heath and Woodgate Valley Sports and Social Club. "People are overjoyed that we are re-opening because there is a great need for an over-25s venue like this."
Coun Deirdre Alden (Con, Edgbaston) said: "This is a real victory for people power.
"Not only will there be dancing in the ballroom again, I suspect many local residents will feel like dancing in the streets at this excellent news."
A spokesman for Countrywide Homes said: "We've let the Tower out to generate a rental income. It doesn't suit anybody for the site to lie derelict."