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Skipton Town Hall gets £66k government grant to help it reopen

Craven District Council has been awarded £66,099 from the government's Culture Recovery Fund to enable Skipton Town Hall to reopen in a Covid-secure way next Spring.

The Town Hall is currently undergoing a major £4.5 million redevelopment project to restore and upgrade the concert hall and the Craven Museum as well as create a new gallery space.

The £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund is supporting venues and projects hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Other beneficiaries include Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and the Ilkley Toy Museum.

Craven District Council says the £66,099 will fund essential Covid-19 safety infrastructure, PPE and distancing equipment at the Town Hall - as well as the creation of a new e-commerce function so that the venue can 'diversify its income streams'.

Councillor Simon Myers, Lead Member for Enterprising Craven at Craven District Council, said: “We’re delighted we have been successful in bidding for this funding. The redevelopment work at Skipton Town Hall is progressing well and we are looking forward to reopening next year.

“We know we are still likely to face challenges relating to Covid-19 for some time and the work carried out with this funding will be essential to the Town Hall’s survival as we navigate the inevitable reduced capacities involved with social distancing.

“The reopening and success of the Town Hall is important not just to the cultural life of Craven but also to the district’s economic sustainability. We are creating a cultural hub and a creative community space which will benefit residents and attract more visitors to the district.”

Skipton Town Hall is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving support from £257 million of grants awarded by the Arts Council England.

Elsewhere in our area, projects receiving funding include The Bronte Society, Keighley's Jam on Top and the Thought Bubble Festival.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery. These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

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