AN evening of thanks has been held for everyone who has been involved in the redevelopment and refurbishment of Skipton Town Hall which reopened in June.

Guests enjoyed a special performance of the Baht ‘at Variations from poet Ian McMillan and the town hall orchestra in residence, Skipton Building Society Camerata. The piece was written by McMillan in collaboration with Camerata conductor Ben Crick.

Ian McMillan also performed a poem written especially for the event – ‘Let’s Hear it for Skipton Town Hall’, describing the venue as the ‘beating heart’ of the town.

Speeches were given by Deputy Leader of Craven District Council, Cllr Simon Myers, David Renwick of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Trevor Mitchell of Historic England.

Cllr Myers said: “It was an honour to thank everyone involved in the refurbishment and redevelopment of Skipton Town Hall whether it be funders, staff or volunteers. We now have a town hall that has been utterly transformed; from the newly imagined museum that tells the story of Craven, to the first class concert hall plus new exhibition space, education room and associated facilities. It has taken such a huge amount of work to secure the building’s future and we now have a town hall fit for the 21st century to be used and accessed by everyone across Craven. Ian McMillan got it absolutely right when he described the building as the ‘beating heart’ of the town.”

Guests were then invited to an open house showing of Craven Museum and the current gallery exhibition - A Yorkshire Vision by Kitty North.

Skipton Town Hall reopened on the 21st of June after a spectacular £4.7 million restoration and redevelopment project. Craven District Council invested £3million in the project, with £1.5million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and £183,000 from the High Street Heritage Action Zone. A further £250,000 Arts Council Grant was given to support the upgrade of performance infrastructure in the Concert Hall.

Skipton Town Hall is open from Monday to Saturday with free entry to Craven Museum, the Exhibition Gallery and Visitor Centre. There is a programme of events, performances and workshops happening throughout the year. There is also a gift shop which supports local independent makers and stocks environmentally sustainable products. Every purchase supports the Skipton Town Hall cultural hub and their outreach work across Craven.