A £250,000 appeal has been launched to ensure the sound of music continues to echo through Selby Abbey for generations to come.

The trustees of Selby Abbey have launched the appeal to install a new organ in the nave of the abbey because the original is now unreliable.

Built in 1909 it needs complete refurbishment, which would cost an estimated £1 million.

But the trustees believe to set a target so high would be unrealistic coming so soon after raising £4.5 million to repair the exterior brickwork of the abbey.

But an alternative exists in Harrogate where a replacement organ, built in 1919 by Harrison and Harrison, has been found at the decommissioned St Mary’s Church.

The cost of removal and installation will cost £250,000, although the ultimate dream is to restore Selby’s organ and then link the two.

Selby businessman John Engelhart, who is chairman of the appeal, said: “We are raising this money to make sure music continues in Selby Abbey.

“This Norman building has been the focus for music and worship for nearly 1,000 years, but the abbey has no historic endowments and we need to raise the money to bring the Harrison organ here.”

The fundraising for the new organ has already started with the abbey to host Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra on October 22.

The world-renowned music school, which is based in Manchester, will perform a programme including works by Prokofiev and Mahler, while Chetham’s Female Chorus will sing part of Holst’s The Planets Suite.

Tickets, which include refreshments, cost £18 or £10 and £4 for children under 16. They are available by sending a stamped-addressed envelope and cheque made payable to Selby Abbey Appeal to JJ Gaskell, Appeal Director, The Rose House, Wykeham, Old Malton, YO17 6RF. Tickets are also on sale now in the abbey shop.

The abbey has also reserved 60 free tickets for schoolchildren. Schools can apply by phoning Mr Gaskell on 01653 697320 or emailing jjgaskell@btinternet.com