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Craven District Council signs up first tenant for new-look Town Hall

Skipton Town Council has confirmed its move back to Skipton Town Hall, after a gap of over 20 years.

lease 2

The council has signed a lease which makes them Craven District Council's first tenants in the Town Hall following completion of the first phase of the refurbishment programme for the Grade 2 listed building.

The Town Council will occupy the whole of the first floor of the actual Town Hall building, including use of the Council Chamber.

Skipton Town Council originally occupied a small office in the Town Hall from 1974 to 1993 following the reorganisation of local government which abolished the old Skipton Urban and Skipton Rural District Councils and created Craven District Council and a new Parish Council for Skipton.

After leaving the Town Hall in 1993, the Town Council occupied offices in the Old Town Hall - now Brody's Restaurant on Sheep Street - and, from 2001, its current offices above Barclays Bank on the High Street.

Leader of Skipton Town Council, Cllr Chris Harbron, said: "I am absolutely delighted that we are making the move back to the Town Hall. It makes perfect sense for the Town Council to be based in the Town Hall."

He added: "Over the last few years, the Town Council has taken on a number of new responsibilities and our existing offices are cramped and no longer fit for purpose. This will give the Council a high profile position in a building which, with the other plans for the Town Hall, will undoubtedly become a community focal point. "

Councillor Simon Myers, Craven District Council's Lead Member for the Town Hall, said: "We're delighted that Skipton Town Council has signed the lease to occupy the first floor offices in the Town Hall.

"We have put significant investment into the Town Hall and have exciting plans for its future, and this is an important step along the way as we transform the building into a sustainable and vibrant community venue.

"Our vision is to have a number of high quality tenants in the Town Hall to secure its financial viability for the future."

The move to the Town Hall will also allow the Town Council to share some resources with other partner organisations, including the Skipton Town Partnership - and will allow for the historic Council Chamber and the proposed meeting rooms to be used on an ad-hoc basis by community groups and other organisations.

The Town Council expects to undertake the move, on a phased basis, following the Christmas and New Year break, and plans to be fully operational in its new offices from 1st March 2016.

Image: Chris Harbron and Simon Myers outside the Town Hall