Plans have been revealed to transform the disused Horton Chapel into an arts and culture centre for Epsom.

Once part of the largest concentration of mental hospitals in the world, the Grade II listed building in Livingston Park has been vacant for at least 20 years and is in poor condition as a result of neglect and vandalism.

Ian Reeves, chairman of Horton Chapel Arts & Heritage Society, said: “We’re very pleased that we have been able to develop plans that allow flexible use of Horton Chapel’s incredible space while retaining and enhancing its heritage features.”

It is hoped the chapel will be turned into a cultural hub, including a performance space, café and space to hire by local groups for rehearsals and teaching spaces.

Activities would include performances, screenings, exhibitions, hands-on sessions and other events.

The proposals also include a permanent exhibition about the impact the hospital cluster, formed at the beginning of the twentieth century, had on the area.

Mr Reeves said: “We believe our architect, Crane & Associates, has struck an exciting balance between historic and contemporary – for example preserving the ornate tiled Victorian floors, decorated organ pipes and barrel-vaulted ceilings, but future-proofing the building for digital connectivity that is so important for a successful creative and cultural centre. We believe the renovated building will offer great opportunities for the whole community.”

These plans are the latest in a long series of proposals for the chapel, which is owned by Epsom and Ewell Council.

Horton Chapel Arts & Heritage Society has benefitted from a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a £25,000 grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund, and recently a £15,000 grant from Power to Change.

The latest grant will pay for expert reports, design services and technical specifications that will enable the listed building to be renovated.

Mr Reeves said the new grant was “further recognition of the huge potential for Horton Chapel”.

The planning application has been made to the council, and a decision is expected by February 8.