Funding of almost £50,000 to transform town hall
Grassington Town Hall has secured tens of thousands of pounds from a project funded by the Government to help to support grassroots community schemes.
The £49,950 grant from the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) will be used to replace part of the building’s roof and electrics and to install double-glazed windows and new, accessible doors, supplemented by more funds from Grassington Parish Council, town residents and the Duke of Devonshire, whose predecessor built the hall and gifted it to the town’s people in 1850.
More than 20 groups use the building each week from parent and toddler groups to exercise clubs, as well as a huge number of ad-hoc events throughout the year.
The chair of the Grassington Devonshire Institute (GDI), which manages the hall, Hazel Drew, said: “The building is owned by the parish council on behalf of the people, but our charity runs it and keeps it going. I think everyone lived in fear that if the roof went, the building would have to be sold because neither the parish council nor our charity could have afforded to put it right.
“Certainly, what the prosperity fund has done is give us hope that if we could raise some money towards the costs, we had a chance to get the roof renewed.
“In effect the fund gave us a route and the determination to solve the problem and I cried when I heard we had been awarded the money as it means so much to us.”
The town hall’s new doors were installed on 18 December, with the rest of the improvement works beginning in the New Year.
Council leader and the chair of the SPF’s board in North Yorkshire, Cllr Carl Les, said: “It is fantastic to see the positive effect this funding is having in our communities.
“Buildings like Grassington Town Hall play a vital role in enabling residents of all ages to come together and take part in activities to improve their lives, physical and mental health.”
The open schemes – community grants, village halls and community buildings grants, sport and active travel programme, rural capital fund and community climate action grants and support - represent a combined £2.5 million commitment from the council to invest and improve life in across the county.