IT was bombed in the war, rebuilt, and then went on to host bands such as the Rolling Stones and The Kinks.

Now an almost forgotten capital venue is to reopen after falling into years of disrepair.

The B-listed Leith Theatre complex is to stage its first performance next week since securing a lease to open up the buildings on Ferry Road in Edinburgh yesterday.

The site was nearly destroyed during the Second World War and was at one point a place in the city rivalling more central locations such as The Queen's, The King's and the Traverse theatres.

The deal, by a small charity set up to push the case, was secured after years of negotiation. The campaign began in 2008 when it was envisaged a £6 million refurbishment would give the venue new life.

Backers said the recession led to a scale-down, and the new venture is more plausible, but it will still need more cash to reach its potential.

It will cost £1m to fully reopen the venue as planned, and the organisers hope some of the funds will be raised by the first concert by singer/songwriter Dean Owens on June 15.

While the Morton Hall space in the complex is usable and will feature the premiere under the new deal, the charity, Leith Theatre Trust, wants to create an 850-seat auditorium in the building's main hall.

This would be primarily for theatre but the seats can be removed, making the space more versatile, according to artistic director John Paul McGroarty. He said: "We want this to be open and running by next year's festival, but we are delighted to get to this point."

Funds will be raised during the next year by the charity and organisers want the venue to be largely community based, with arts classes available.

The council said the theatre was "a gift from the people of Edinburgh to the people of Leith, following the 1920 decision to incorporate the Burgh of Leith into Edinburgh".