URGENT £180,000 repairs to Skipton Town Hall roof have been supported by Craven councillors.

An additional £22,000 for repairs to Kildwick Churchyard wall was also agreed by Craven District Council's policy committee, and will now both go to full council in April for ratification.

The replacement of the listed town hall roof at the front of the building will be the first stage of what will be followed in "the next few years" by the replacement of the remaining part of the roof.

Additional money will also have to be found to repair the ornate ceiling in the council chamber damaged by water getting in through the roof.

A ten-metre, three-metre-high stretch of the boundary wall in front of Kildwick Church needs urgent attention following recent wet weather.

Councillors were told attention is needed to protect the council from possible third party liability. In the meantime, the immediate section of footway in Skipton Road had been closed to pedestrians.

Cllr Robert Heseltine (Ind) told the meeting a large part of the ceiling of the council chamber had collapsed, and claimed part of the wall is in danger of falling into the High Street.

He added the town council, which will be operating from the town hall from next week, is paying rent, but losing potential revenue from the sub-letting of the chamber.

Criticism was voiced that estimates for both the roof and the church wall, for which the council is also responsible, were included before tenders had gone out.

A Craven District Council spokesman said: “There is likely to be more work needed on the rest of Skipton Town Hall roof at some point in the next few years, and we will be looking at this as part of the refurbishment of the hall and museum, which is planned.

"This will all be part of the work that is taking place in order to ensure this historic building is sustainable and lasts for future generations.

“There will also be an additional cost of re-plastering the ceiling in the council chamber, which will take place after the current roof works have been completed. We can’t give any costings at this stage for these elements as the details are still being worked out.”