A former Marston pub that the community has tried to rescue since its closure in 2014 could become an education centre and cafe.
Oxford charity The Wilaya Trust wants to lease Somerset House and transform it into a community hub.
It is understood that a contract for the conversion will be signed ‘shortly’.
The trust’s website states immediate costs for securing the lease and the first year of operations is £210,000.
This will go towards securing the building, hiring staff to begin projects and launching the café.
The trust wants to establish itself during a ‘seed stage’ before scaling up its services in stage one from 2020.
Then, from 2024, it hopes to achieve self-sustainability in stage two.
Councillor Mick Haines, who collected 300 names on a petition to save the site from housing development in 2016, said last month he was disappointed as Somerset House is the ‘last chance to have a pub in Marston’.
Oxford East Conservative Association is the latest to wade in on the issue, calling on Oxford City Council last week to do ‘all in its power’ to ensure the site is retained as a pub.
OECA vice-president Mark Bhagwandin said: “Pubs are at the heart of local communities and help to foster social interaction and cohesion.
“We are not persuaded that the conversion of The Somerset to a cafe and offices for an education consultancy will fulfil the same crucial role of a community pub.
“We are very disappointed to hear that attempts by residents to engage with the current landlord of the pub have been unsuccessful.”
Somerset House was listed as an Asset of Community Value in April 2016 and any change of use would require a planning application.
Mr Bhagwandin added: “We call on Oxford City Council to give a clear signal to the Wilaya Trust and to the owner of The Somerset that it will not approve their plans as announced by the Wilaya Trust.”
Shehzad Najib, a member of the trust’s management team, said the group is sympathetic to those who would have preferred Somerset House to reopen as a pub.
“However, the building has sat empty for more than three years, and despite efforts to interest pub companies, none have taken up the lease.
“We hope our plans will revive the Somerset as a commercially-viable local meeting place.”
A wave of pubs have closed down in the area in recent years. The Red Lion and the Victoria Arms, both in Old Marston, are the last two standing.