A church ravaged by fire is set to have a new lease of life as it reopens as a wedding and entertainment venue.

The 200-year-old St Michael on the Mount Without, was left a burnt out shell following the blaze in 2016.

A renovation project has since been under way to transform it into a performance and events space.

Local businessman Norman Routledge says he feels “lucky” to be its custodian and is looking forward to it finally opening next month.

A local dance troupe will call the venue its home but the building will generate its main revenue through events.

“In five or six weeks we will be opening and we have a wedding booked so will have our first big event in here which we’re looking forward to,” said Mr Routledge.

The building now has a new roof but much of the character has been retained including the original stained glass windows.

However, renovation of the church has fallen behind schedule in the last few months due to the pandemic, with costs slowly increasing from the original £350,000 budget.

“We’ve at least spent twice as much as that and we still probably have another £100,000 to go which is painful because that wasn’t the plan. But hopefully it will be worth it, its a beautiful building.”

Mr Routledge has also faced planning issues, and is currently unable to build a staircase between the main body of the church and the crypt.

Final preparations are now under way to get the building, last used in 1999, finished for its first scheduled event once the final lockdown is lifted.