Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre, formerly the Neptune Theatre, will return to its roots as a music venue after Liverpool Sound City was successful in bidding to become its new operator.

The Sound City team also outlined plans to use the building to showcase art and pop culture ranging from drama productions to art exhibitions, and also aim to ensure the Epstein can be utilised by community groups from across the city.

Dave Pichilingi, chief executive of Sound City, said: “We plan to turn it into a space that will be a gemstone in the cultural offer for Liverpool. Such an amazing building needs to be used and seen by an international and local audience. We believe our vision for the Epstein will put our city firmly on the map and show Liverpool as a 21st century pop culture city.”

Details of when the theatre, which has a capacity of 385, will open its doors will be announced in the New Year.

The theatre was bought by the Liverpool Corporation in 1967 to be ‘run by the people, for the people’. The Grade II listed theatre closed its doors in 2005 as it failed to comply with safety regulations and was in need of major refurbishment.

A £1million investment in the venue, located in Hanover Street, consisted of £750,000 funding from Liverpool City Council and a further £250,000 from Hanover Estate Management.

In July, the theatre was renamed The Epstein Theatre in honour of former Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who guided the Fab Four from popular cellar act to global superstardom.

Following the completion of the work, Liverpool City Council searched for an operator to run the venue. Sound City also holds a musical festival, using various venues across the city each year.