Plans have been put forward by the council to save Bury’s iconic Castle Armoury which could cost more than £2m for urgent repairs and several more millions to modernise it.

A campaign to save Bury’s historic Castle Armoury is taking place as councillors of all parties are asking the Ministry of Defence for money to save the town centre base.

Built on the remains of Bury Castle in 1868, the grade II listed building has been an iconic part of Bury, until its closure last month due to safety concerns.

Campaigners now want to restore the Armoury to keep the historic building open for future generations as a move was agreed unanimously.

The council heard that it would cost at least £2m to carry out urgent repairs to the building and several millions more to fully modernise it.

The full council agreed after an emergency motion was put down by Cllr Richard Gold, the council’s armed forces lead.

Cllr Gold said: “The council has unanimously agreed to do everything it can to save the Drill Hall.

"We urge the Ministry of Defence to provide the necessary funds to repair it and restore it to full use.

"We’re also looking at what external funding is available and working with all parties to save this important asset for the local community.”

Before its closure, the Castle Armoury or "Drill Hall" as it is also called, was used as the base for Bury’s Army cadets, RAF cadets, a community karate group, and the Armed Forces veterans breakfast club.

The W Company 5th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 207 Field Hospital Royal Army Medical Corp and The Lancashire Royal Regiment of Fusiliers volunteer Band also used the space.

The Lancashire Fusiliers had been using the building since 1908, and were forced to find a new home after more than 110 years.

James Hutton is Sgt Instructor at Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force Bury Detachment.

Earlier this month, he said: “We parade 35 to 40 cadets twice a week. Teaching them citizenship and military principles. Giving them a grounding in life.

“We’ve got 40 young adults who give up their time to be better citizens. Staff have been giving up our time all through lockdown.

“There was no heating in there all last winter.

"Even in the middle of winter with no heating we still had 20 to 30 coming every week.

"That’s how dedicated they are.

“We’ll be looking for somewhere new.

"Somewhere we can have 50 people twice a week.

"There’s a shooting range and a huge drill square – it’s not an easy place to replace.”

The building is owned by the Bury Castle Armoury Trust and is leased to NW RFCA through a formal agreement.

Under the terms of the lease NW RFCA and in turn the Ministry of Defence assume full responsibility for repairs and maintenance.