SKIPTON Town Hall is preparing itself for a busy end to the year before almost 18 months of renovation work and redevelopment work takes place.

Craven Museum will be closing its doors in September ready for its renovation and the concert hall will close at Christmas.

All building, conservation and redecorating work is expected to have taken place ready for the grand re-opening in May 2020.

The redevelopment work includes a full redesign of the museum, bringing it to the ground floor and reinterpreting the collections, creating a dedicated education space, museum store and research facility, changing rooms and toilets to the rear of the building, and redecorating and improving the concert hall with a flexible and modern demountable stage, and restoring the decorative ceiling.

In 2016 an Arts Council grant of £250,000 was awarded to Craven District Council, allowing improvements to the Concert Hall facilities, and this year The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant of more than £1.5 million to transform Craven Museum.

Other work which has already taken place includes an investment from Craven District Council of £770,000 in Skipton Town Hall to create a new accessible entrance from Jerry Croft, build new ground floor toilets, develop commercial units within the building, and install a new boiler.

Last year £180,000 of roof repairs took place, tiered seating installed in the Concert Hall and the entrance hall redecorated.

Before work commences, the venue will remain busy with a variety of fun family workshops.

A special Museums at Night is also planned for October, showing behind-the-scenes tours of the process of safely packing away all 60,000 objects in the Museum collections.

The Concert Hall Autumn/Winter programme is being drawn up, and will include the return of the History Wardrobe with show V for Victory, a production of Wind and the Willows from Box Tale Soup, Red Ladder Theatre Company touring with The Damned United, a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the film Grease, and music from Skipton Camerata, the Black Dyke Band and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

Danielle Daglan, programming and venue development manager at Craven District Council, said: “We’re very excited about our plans for the future but for the moment it’s still business as usual with a fantastic programme of events over the next few months. We’re sure audiences will continue to enjoy these performances right up until we close at Christmas 2018.

“When we relaunch the Town Hall in 2020, our facilities will be vastly improved and brought up to 21st century standards; we will have more and better spaces able to cater to all of the different events, classes and activities we want to put on with the best possible facilities in the centre of Skipton.”

During the period of closure, the Hub space in the Town Hall will remain open and will be available for community hire.

The Tourist Information Centre will be relocated near to the Town Hall and will remain open throughout the work, although an exact location has yet to be decided.