Hugh Ripley Hall takeover talks continue

Uncertain future - Ripon's Hugh Ripley Hall. (S)
Uncertain future - Ripon's Hugh Ripley Hall. (S)

DISCUSSIONS about Ripon City Council taking over the running of Hugh Ripley Hall are continuing, the Mayor has confirmed.

Coun Mick Stanley said the city council had submitted an outline business plan to the venue’s owner, Harrogate Borough Council, and was now gathering more information in relation to its bid.

A separate bid to run the venue was also submitted last year by Ripon Community Church but the Gazette was unable to speak to a representative of the group before going to press.

The Mayor said: “I envisage working with them (the church) to make sure the building is available for the community. We know what each other is trying to do with the venue.”

The future of the venue has been uncertain since Harrogate Borough Council said it was considering selling the building or transferring responsibility to an outside organisation as it copes with a £2.7m cut in funding from central Government over the current and next financial year.

In setting its spending plans, Harrogate Borough Council agreed to reduce net expenditure at Hugh Ripley Hall by £8,800 during 2011/12 and the same amount in 2012/13 – a total of £17,600 over two years.