More than £3m will be pumped into making the historic Crystal Palace Subway part of a new “cultural destination” for south-east London, after Bromley Council’s executive gave the green light to move forward with the multi-million pound package aimed at overhauling the 154-year-old subway at Crystal Palace Park.

Councillor Peter Morgan, executive councillor for renewal, recreation and housing called the move a “turning point” in the subway’s history.

“For many years Bromley has worked closely with Historic England and the Friends group to find a route to restore and bring life to this important structure – one of the only remains of the famous Crystal Palace,” the ward member for Plaistow and Sundridge said.

“Securing the grant funding to start the journey for the subway to become a new cultural venue for south London is testament to what can be achieved when organisations big and small work together.  This is an exciting turning point in the Subway’s history.”

A package of £3.141m has been proposed for the project, with the bulk to come from a £2.34m grant from the Mayor of London’s Strategic Investment Pot, following a successful application by Bromley Council.

The remainder is expected to come from Historic England and Transport for London grants, as well as a contribution from long-time supporters Friends of Crystal Palace Subway.

The Victorian subway is home to coloured arched brickwork and eye-catching walkways.

However, the Grade II listed structure is currently defined as “at risk” by Historic England.

Several years of work by the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway saw it reopened in 2016, with 22,000 visitors to the site since than.

Cllr Morgan said the upgraded subway, combined with the site’s cafe and skatepark, would help turn the area into a “prized regional park”.

“The park has remained a fantastic, if somewhat hidden jewel for far too long now, and we are hopefully now moving closer, working hand in hand with key local interest Groups, to turning that vision into a reality,” he said.

The development was welcomed by The Friends of Crystal Palace Subway.

“Our relationship with Bromley Council is now in its seventh year,” a spokesperson for the group said.

“In this period the friends group, supported by its amazing volunteers, has gone from showing 280 visitors in hard hats the subway for Open House 2013 to 22,600 visitors accessing the site between 2016 and this year for craft fairs, events, circus skills and heritage tours.

” We are thrilled that the executive decision this week means that the renovation of the subway can begin and open up exciting opportunities for its future as a cultural and community venue.

“The subway will be closed during renovation but the friends group is a formal and fully engaged partner on the project and we will keep our volunteers, visitors and community updated.”

The project will be completed over two stages, with the first step, which included going out to tender for an architect team to review the building and create a plan for the restoration works, underway.

Once that work is completed, the council expects to go out to tender for the contract to undertake the physical restoration work.