The chairman of the trustees at Malton’s Milton Rooms, Ray King, has said that £193,000 funding from Ryedale District Council, confirmed at a recent meeting of the full council, will “kick-start” the venue’s ambitions.
He said: “We are grateful for what is the first major investment in the Milton Rooms, probably since it was built in the 1930s, and the money will be focused on key infrastructure areas that our local community and audiences have identified as being issues.
“It will allow us to upgrade toilet areas, further address the access challenges that a building of this age presents and look at improving the overall fabric and technical facilities to prepare it for reopening after COVID restrictions are fully lifted.
“But at the same time, the trustees recognise that this has to be regarded as simply the first in a new phase of investment to transform the building into a 21st century community and arts venue and we are constantly looking for additional funding from a range of sources.
“I believe this funding is also a recognition of the tremendous work that has been put in by the dedicated volunteers past and present, who have kept this iconic building open and available to all.’’
At an earlier meeting on the Council also voted to ring-fence an additional £307,000 in this year’s budget for the Milton Rooms to carry out further improvement work to bring it up to standard as a top class venue for the 2020s. The money will be released for fully-costed projects agreed by the Milton Rooms committee and the council and its officers.
Ray said: “While we are delighted to receive the £193,000, the hard work starts now in developing a business plan to access the further funds and so make the Milton Rooms an even more attractive venue for the community to use and enjoy.’’.
The Milton Rooms, which is run as a charitable company mainly by volunteers, has also just had its COVID-safe accreditation extended for 2021 by leading UK tourism body Visit Britain.
Venue manager Lisa Rich added: “This is great news for all the team at the Milton Rooms, and will help develop the venue for the future, but we are also keeping our Go Fund Me Page active, as money raised through that helps with ongoing operating costs until we can open fully again. I do realise how tough it is at the moment, but if anyone can help, please go to our page to make a donation, visit our Go Fund Me Page
We also welcome new volunteers to the team, particularly any with experience of the technical side of arts production and presentation, so please make contact by emailing email@example.com should you have a few spare hours.’’