Venue ‘could close without more cash’

The Milton Rooms.
The Milton Rooms.

Malton’s landmark Milton Rooms - Ryedale’s biggest arts, leisure and entertainment venue – could face closure unless it gets more cash.

That is the tough warning given by the town mayor and trustee of the complex Councillor Paul Andrews.

However, fellow councillors rejected moves to give further funding until a vision and business plan is produced by its management board.

Coun Andrews said: “If we don’t get funds soon, the Milton Rooms will fold.” He said the town council had given £4,500 which had been used to re-decorate the venue but more funding was needed.

He said that following the failure to get Heritage Lottery Fund support for new investment, he had worked with the management committee to get money for a venue manager to promote the centre.

Ryedale District Council (RDC) had agreed to provide money on a match-funding basis with the town council over the next three years. But the town council last week turned down the move until a strategic vision and business plan is produced.

Coun Andrews said he was concerned the money may still not be available from Ryedale House in the future.

Coun Paul Emberley said: “We want to see the Milton Rooms flourish but we need to see a new vision.”

He believed RDC could be asked to contribute as much as £28,000 in the future.

RDC’s deputy chief executive Tony Galloway said: “RDC would be willing to consider a partnership in principle (with the town council).

“However, before making any commitment I would welcome the opportunity for a more detailed conversation on the levels of respective financial contributions.”