PLANS to give an historic York landmark a new lease of life as a visitor centre and café could be given a £20,000 boost.

City of York Council has been asked to provide the funding to the Friends of York Walls to help their plans for the 500-year-old Postern Tower, in the centre of the city.

The group, launched earlier this year with the aim of protecting and promoting the bar walls and their towers, has made a bid for support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to refurbish the ancient four-storey building on the corner of Fishergate and Piccadilly, which would also see it become the Friends’ new base.

The scheme will cost up to £60,000, and the council’s ruling cabinet, which meets next week, is set to recommend to the full authority that £20,000 from its capital contingency fund is used to help carry out repair work to the Postern Tower.

The money would go towards installing electricity, water, a toilet and kitchen, and fire precautions.

A report by finance officers, which will go before the meeting, said the injection of public cash was vital to the Friends’ bid for lottery funding succeeding.

Keith Myers, chairman of the Friends of York Walls, said: “We appreciate the help City of York Council is giving us to open the hidden asset of Fishergate Postern Tower for everybody to use and appreciate.”

The rectangular tower was built in the early 16th Century, replacing an earlier structure called the Talkan Tower.

The cabinet will also consider recommending the release of £30,000 from the capital contingency budget for the final phase of improvement work at St Clement’s Hall in Moss Street, which has been brought back into use and £16,000 to demolish a disused building in Castle Mills car park.

Council officers said the building had become dangerous and, once it is knocked down, five more parking spaces could be created.