Heanor Action Group is fighting to keep the former college site at the heart of the community after a nomination was granted by the council.
Amber Valley Borough Council received a nomination under the Localism Act to list the South East Derbyshire College site as an asset to the community.
The council looked at criteria and has determined that the site is, and should remain, an asset to the community and granted it an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
The nomination was submitted by St Lawrence Parish Church Parochial Church Council.
Local groups including Henaor Action can now conduct feasibility studies and public consultations for up to six months, to find out what local people want to see happen to the site.
A survey has already been undertaken which received 260 responses indicating what the public would like to see happen to the Mundy Street site.
The most popular responses to date are for the site to be an educational establishment or cinema.
Group spokesperson Leonie George said: “People want the site to remain a community building rather than be sold commercially and be lost forever. It gives people a level playing field to be able to compete against the commerical firms Towards the end of the period the group could then make a bid for the property.”
A public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 14, from 7.30pm. For more information call 07751148638.