Plans for Skipton concert hall revamp

Plans for Skipton concert hall revamp

Published at 8:03am 26th July 2015. (Updated at 10:38am 27th July 2015)

Craven District Council is drawing up plans to restore Skipton Town Hall's concert hall and is hoping to bid for Arts Council funding of between £100,000 and £500,000.

Councillors have agreed that they should spend up to £20,000 on a feasibility study for the restoration of the 1860s concert hall.

Councillor Simon Myers, Lead Member for Enterprising Craven, said: "The council is keen to ensure that the Town Hall has a strong identity and reputation for performances and events, and that it will be a major cultural venue with regional appeal, attracting audiences from outside the district.

"We hope that this work will lead towards a future increase in the diversity and quality of professional events programmed in the building."

The feasibility study will provide the information needed to support any future bid for capital investment from external funders such as the Arts Council.

The council says it has three aims for the concert hall; to provide a venue that is a focal point for events and community use; to restore and retain the historical characteristics and upgrade the overall fabric of the building; and to provide high-quality commercial and leasing opportunities.

Its study will look at existing and potential new audiences, uses and activities, and how well the existing space performs.

It will also investigate the changes likely to happen in the creative, arts and culture sectors over the next few years, examining how the space can be designed to accommodate these changes.

The economic benefits of the project within Skipton and the Southern Dales area will be assessed too.

Councillors at the Policy Committee on 21 July agreed to make up to £20,000 available from the council's New Homes Bonus Localism Reserve to fund the costs of preparing the feasibility study.