YORK'S world-famous Mystery Plays could be performed again in the Museum Gardens in 2007 - provided enough of the right people come forward to steer the project to fruition.

A working party set up last year to investigate the feasibility of reviving the great outdoor production has concluded that it is both feasible and desirable.

But the working party agreed that it can only go ahead if a board can be set up, involving individuals of the right calibre, with experience in fields such as accountancy and law, who are also willing to devote their time to the production.

Working party chairman Keith Wood, a former chairman of York Festival and Mystery Plays, said: "I offered my services to see if it was feasible, because no one knew whether it was or not.

"With the help of council officers, including Ben Pugh, and several people who have been involved in previous productions, we have been able to prove it is not only possible, but also a practical ambition.

"Now we need to go the next stage and look forward to people coming forward whose professional expertise could enable this to happen, and allow the plays to return to the Museum Gardens in 2007."

Now members are to approach a number of senior figures in the city to see if they would be willing to take on such a role, with the most important challenge being to find someone suitable and willing to chair such a board.

York Museums Trust has indicated that the Museum Gardens, regarded by many as the Plays' spiritual home, should be available to host such a production again, and the working party has concluded that 2007 is the first year when it could realistically be staged.

The feasibility study was sought after the Evening Press launched a campaign last year to Keep The Mystery Plays Alive.

The last production was held in the Minster in 2000 to celebrate the new Millennium, but there was no prospect of any more being staged in the cathedral until at least 2010 - if then.

The lack of a production left a massive gap in the city's cultural calendar, with local actors dismayed at losing the chance to take part in such a major event, residents saddened because they would not be able to go and see a performance, and tourism bosses disappointed that the city was losing a major draw for visitors.