The Khyber building — and hopefully Barrington Street — was given new life yesterday.

Halifax regional council voted unanimously to implement a three-year plan that will see improvements to programming and the building, including reopening the first floor. “A three-year operating strategy will keep us thriving to demonstrate our abilities,” Anton Christiansen, a member of the Khyber Arts Society, told council last night.

A number of local artists got their start in the building at 1588 Barrington St., Christiansen said, including singer Joel Plaskett.

HRM will continue to manage the building for the first two years and then it will be handed over to a facility manager. It will mean $800,000 over the next three years, but HRM staff said the cost will be heavily eaten up by outside funding possibilities.

Coun. Dawn Sloane said the Khyber will “jumpstart a much needed revitalization of Barrington Street.”

“This is a huge endeavor for us to take on,” she said.

This effort could go even further. Coun. Jackie Barkhouse suggested people who own vacant buildings should allow artists to display their work.