The multi-million pound revitalisation of Stanmer House in Brighton from an empty shell to a vibrant gallery and conference centre could soon be under way.

A planning application for the Cherrywood Investments project has been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council.

Directors of the company, Michael Holland and his son Vince, have so far committed £5 million to Stanmer House, which has gained fame after being used for photoshoots by singer Cliff Richard and appearing in a promotional video made by spoon bender Uri Geller.

It is hoped restoration work on the stately home, which was once the seat of the Earl of Chichester, will begin early next year if planning permission is granted.

The top floor would be turned into administration offices and caretakers' accommodation while the ground floor would be used as an art gallery, conference venue and public and private reception rooms.