Craven District Council celebrates £150k arts grant to nurture creative industries in the district
Craven Arts House, based on Otley Street, was originally a primary school
Craven District Council has been awarded £150,000 to give a new lease of life to a redundant youth and community centre in Skipton.
The funding – from Arts Council England’s Capital Investment Programme – will see the creation of sound recording and green screen studios, along with a central creative community space at Craven Arts House - the Council’s development with Craven Arts in Otley Street.
The Arts Council England Capital Investment Programme is an open access programme to support cultural organisations to adjust buildings and equipment so that they can operate safely post pandemic and improve access, seize on technological opportunities and reduce environmental impact.
As part of these 2021-22 and 2022-23 grants, over £22.7million has been awarded to 66 cultural organisations across the country.
The Craven Arts House project is repurposing the old school and community centre on Otley Street in Skipton as a creative careers hub offering incubation, mentoring and development space for career starters and young creatives, as well as affordable studios for all creative professionals.
Delighted with the Arts Council funding, Cllr Simon Myers, Craven District Council’s Lead Member for Enterprising Craven, said: “We’re incredibly excited to have been awarded this grant, which will enable Craven Arts to support practitioners needing animation and sound recording spaces – neither of which are currently readily available in Craven.
“This exciting and worthwhile project is another huge step toward supporting and developing creative industries in the district.
Craven Arts House, based on Otley Street, was originally a primary school built by the Baptist church in 1844 and has been used more recently as a youth and community centre. When it was left vacant, Craven District Council purchased the building from North Yorkshire County Council and embarked on the Craven Arts House project with local charity Craven Arts, with the first phases of the major refurbishment funded by Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone. The project will give the building a new lease of life as it continues to be a community venue - now with a creative focus.
Darren Heneley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “With these investments in the buildings, equipment and digital systems of cultural organisations across England, we are helping to secure the future of that infrastructure, and making sure that people from every part of the country can continue enjoying all the benefits it delivers for years to come.”
The project is due to be completed by April 2023, although first studios should be up and running by Autumn 2022.