The loss of Barclays Bank in Reeth was undoubtedly a blow, but its old home has been transformed into a lynchpin of the community as Hudson House, which provides a home for many key organisations.

When the bank moved out, they agreed to sell the building to be used for a not-for-profit company, owned and run by the community.

In the 19 years since it opened, Hudson House has become established at the heart of Reeth, providing a home for organisations that work across Upper Swaledale and Arkengarthdale.

It means facilities as diverse as a community library, National Park ranger service, North Yorkshire Police, Reeth and District Community Transport, the Swaledale Festival office and a tourism office are all under one roof.

While they operate independently, their close proximity has proved invaluable in many ways.

Those who use the services will find them conveniently located, but operating shoulder to shoulder helped provide the services residents needed when two recent emergencies struck, the flooding of 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic that followed.

During the response to the flooding, services were able to communicate easily to co-ordinate their work, while during the pandemic volunteers from the community transport hub had access to a ready supply of books from the library to deliver to those isolated through lockdown.

Hudson House itself operates in the background, financed largely by the licences paid by organisations based there.

Chairman Mike Evershed said Hudson House itself worked in the background, helping bring forwards new ideas for services to help both the community and visitors.

The next ambition is to bring a petrol filling station, closed for several years, back into service as an alternative to travelling around 11 miles to the nearest in Richmond or Leyburn.

But if that succeeds, it will be a forward-looking venture, with electric charging points to help provide for tomorrow’s transport needs as well as current vehicles.

“It is not just about recreating what was there before,” said Mr Evershed. “If we do manage to get the project off the ground, we want it to be forward looking.”

Hudson House also provides a community garden, The Orchard, as outdoor space that was particularly welcomed during the pandemic.

“It is great having everyone together, it really paid off during the terrible floods in 2019 and again during the pandemic,” he said. “Having everything under one roof really helps.”