SETTLE Folly has received an emergency lottery grant of £204,000 after its roof sprung a leak during the coronavirus lockdown.

The 350-year old, grade one listed home of the Museum of North Craven Life and coffee house, was at risk of closure after being faced with enormous repair bills when storms earlier in the year badly damaged the ancient roof.

A crowdfunding appeal was launched in an attempt to cover the repair bills, and to allow the building in Victoria Street to re-open.

That has now been given a tremendous boost with the £204,600 Heritage Emergency Fund grant awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Heather Lane, chairman of the North Craven Building Preservation Trust, which owns and cares for The Folly, along with the grade two listed Zion Chapel, said: “As a building preservation trust, our first priority has to be the care of our buildings, and without this grant both the museum and the Folly Coffee House were at risk of closure. "Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we are now able to repair the roof and iconic windows at The Folly."

She added: "The award also enables us to build a new, easier to manage kitchen.

"With worries about funding for repair costs lifted, we can concentrate on our other objective: to preserve and care for the Museum of North Craven Life and make its important local history resources accessible to everyone.”

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefitting our personal wellbeing.

"All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as the North Craven Building Preservation Trust during this uncertain time.”

Councillor David Staveley, Craven District Council ward member for Settle, said: “This is fantastic news for the team at the Folly and a credit to their continued hard work keeping this valuable building and cultural asset open for the residents of Craven and the many visitors to the area.

"Buildings like this do need constant care and maintenance, but the rewards are well worth the effort.”

Cllr Simon Myers, the council's lead member for Enterprising Craven, and deputy chairman of the North Craven Building Preservation Trust, added: “I would like to say how grateful the trust is for this lifeline and how much we owe to the hard work of the honorary curator, Heather Lane and all the team in securing this and other funding during the pandemic.

“The Folly is an intriguing grade one listed building and the museum a great asset to Craven. Visit it now. Become a Friend for only £20 a year – and the cakes in the Coffee Shop are jolly good.”

The Folly museum and coffee house have reopened to visitors, with new social distancing guidelines in place.

All tables have been placed two metres apart, and hand sanitiser is provided on all tables.

There is also a one-way system in operation, directing people through the coffee house and museum to allow all to keep a safe distance.

The museum is also asking everyone to wear masks, except while eating.

Caitlin Greenwood, the Folly's heritage development officer, said: “We plan to start the building works right away, which means that the Folly will be covered in scaffolding from October to January.

"However, we will still be open and will be installing a new exhibition about Tom Faulkner, a local photographer of mid-20th century Settle, with our partners at Settle Stories.

"We have a one-way system through the museum and visitors over the age of 11 are asked to wear masks. Hand sanitiser is provided on all floors of the building. Our children’s activity packs are still available as we quarantine them for 72 hours after use."

The new exhibition will include work by photography A-level students from Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale, exploring what heritage and photography mean to them, alongside Tom Faulkner's photographs of the 1953 coronation pageant.

The Folly, built in 1679, is the only grade one listed historic house regularly open to the public in the Dales.