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Major building work starts at Skipton Town Hall

Craven Museum & Gallery and the main hall in Skipton Town Hall will be closed until Spring 2015 as phase I of the major refurbishment of the building gets underway. The main hall will briefly open its doors for the annual Skipton Music Festival in March, but will officially re-open in April, when the initial refurbishment is completed.

Craven District Council is refurbishing Skipton Town Hall to transform it into a modern facility that will benefit the community for many years to come. It will be able to host more events and activities, and the creation of commercial letting units in parts of the building will provide an important source of revenue.

Skipton Town Hall 2

Last Tuesday, Craven District Council agreed to award the phase I building work on the Town Hall to York-based contractors William Birch. This phase, expected to be completed in April 2015, includes the replacement of the 1960s breeze block structure at the Jerry Croft side of the Town Hall, replacement of the heating systems and rewiring of the building.

Jerry Croft will be closed for several weeks later this year to enable the demolition of the breeze block structure to be carried out safely. Diversions will be in place and pedestrian access will remain for the majority of time. Local businesses and residents will be given advance notice.

Councillor Simon Myers, Lead Member for the Town Hall, said: "Skipton Town Hall is a real asset, and the refurbishment is necessary to help us make the most of it. We are working closely with the contractor to ensure the building remains open to the public as much as possible during the building work."

The breeze block structure will give way to a modern addition, designed by Skipton based architects Bowman - Riley and approved by the Council last spring. It will incorporate disabled access into the building (replacing the lift at the front) and a lift to the first floor office space and Council Chamber.

Meanwhile, the rewiring and new heating system will not only turn the Town Hall into a more energy efficient building, thus cutting down on running costs, but also further subdivide into separate entities, including stand-alone commercial units, and of course the main hall for public events.

Craven District Council is investing £ 770,000 in the project. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in April 2015.

Press Release date 9th October 2014, updated 24th December 2014