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Backing sought for Ryedale arts project
A MULTI-million pound refurbishment of an historic Ryedale building could move forward as council bosses consider whether to spend thousands of pounds on the project.
Proposals are being developed to transform Malton’s Milton Rooms into a major arts venue, with those behind the scheme saying it would secure the future of the Grade II-listed building and give the district a huge economic boost.
Ryedale District Council will this week discuss spending £15,500, either from the authority’s reserves or from funds not been earmarked for other purposes, to draw up an appraisal of options and business plan which would show potential investors the project is “appropriate and viable”.
The Milton Rooms management committee’s proposals have been backed by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, whose role is to preserve important redundant historic sites and help find new uses for them.
A report by the council’s head of economy and infrastructure, Julian Rudd, which will go before its policy and resources committee on Thursday, said it was “committed to supporting the project for as long as it takes”.
The report said the business plan was expected to cost £22,000 and the council was originally set to contribute £7,500, but officers have now recommended providing more public funding as a £7,500 Grants for the Arts application by the Milton Rooms committee did not succeed.
The report said: “This project will provide significant regeneration benefits for Malton and Norton and would have particular benefits for the tourism, catering, hospitality and arts sectors of the economy, with associated additional employment. It would also promote Malton as a major cultural hub.
“The creative sector is of major importance to the Ryedale economy. Development of the Milton Rooms as an arts venue and an arts hub for southern Ryedale will provide an opportunity for further development and growth of this important sector.”
Mr Rudd’s report said a decision on council funding must be taken soon as the offer of a £6,500 Architectural Heritage Fund grant expires on April 1 and the consultants may be working on other schemes if progress is delayed.