WORK has begun on a project that could see a building in Richmond run by the people, for the people.

It was confirmed last week that two commercial bidders for the old railway station are out of the running.

One was unable to provide a detailed financial and business plan in time, while the other confirmed it was ready to join forces with the Friends of Richmond Station, who are hoping to found a community trust to take over the running of the building from Richmondshire District Council.

At a meeting on Thursday, the authority voted unanimously to consider the proposals in more detail.

The organisation has until July to come up with a list of possible uses, but the council has requested an interim report on progress in April.

Nevertheless, the two sides have stressed they are working in partnership whereas, six months ago, when it seemed a nightclub was a possibility, they represented opposing sides in the argument over the building's future.

Trust spokesman Donald Cline said: "We have been grateful for the support and advice given to us by both officers and councillors, and look forward to working with them to progress the project and bring benefits to Richmondshire."

The council's chief executive, Harry Tabiner, said: "The council is very impressed by the work the Station Group has done to date, and by the quality of their documentation.

"The next few months provide an excellent opportunity for us to work closely with a vibrant and hard- working community group."

Possible uses for the building include a cinema, art and crafts space, a creche and meeting rooms.

It's hoped the estimated £1m cost of adapting the building could be covered by money raised locally, matched by funding from Government or from Europe.