Ambitious plans to give Malton’s Milton Rooms an upgrade have been given a new boost by Ryedale District Council.
The council’s Policy and Resources Committee is recommending the full authority support the development of the landmark historic building and to give up to £25,000 towards drawing up a scheme for the complex.
Janet Waggott, the chief executive, said that at a private session of the committee, members had welcomed the improved financial management of the Milton Rooms and “adoption of a robust short-term business plan.”
In supporting the principle of the upgrading, it was accepted that the council was “almost certain” to have to make a financial contribution and annual contribution to the running costs, she said.
The news was welcomed by Stephen Shaw, chairman of the Rooms’ Management Committee who said: “It has great potential to be a major economic driver not only for Malton but for much of Ryedale.”
The £25,000 would be used towards carrying out design work towards the vision of spending between £3.5m and £5m on the listed building which has already received support from The Princes’ Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund. The management committee also has aspirations for the adjoining Assembly Rooms which are able to accommodate between 60 and 100 people, said Mr Shaw.
“We have reached the point where we have turned the corner financially.”
He said the Rooms had no paid employees, just a team of volunteers, and operated its own box office arrangements. Tribute bands, food fairs, auction sales, and exhibitions are held regularly, said Mr Shaw.
“It is looking very encouraging. But the complete restoration work could take up to 10 years to achieve. The whole project is looking imaginative and exciting. We have found that when events are held at the Milton Rooms, the footfall in Malton increases and we get good positive feedback from businesses in the town which benefit as a result.”