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Projects & Partnerships

The Skipton Town Hall team are part of the North Yorkshire Council Cultural Service. We develop and promote creativity and culture throughout the district. Providing innovation in accessible rural culture, supporting local creative industries and encouraging community participation. We work closely with cultural partners across the region.

Masthead Image © Stephen Garnett for Great Place: Lakes & Dales

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Arts Development

The North Yorkshire Council Arts Development service supports individuals, community groups, cultural organisations and creative practitioners so that North Yorkshire can become a place where everyone, irrespective of age, location or personal circumstances has the opportunity to create, participate, experience and be inspired by a wide range of creative and cultural activities and assets.

Our Arts Development service provides help through signposting, networking, governance and funding advice and more specific information for village venues to support them to deliver arts in rural areas.

For more information please email Megan Hickes, our Arts & Cultural Development Officer, at or telephone 01756 706397.

Image © Dan Archer



Creative Craven Network

The aim of the Creative Craven Network is to establish a connected and supportive creative community in Craven for the benefit of all it’s members. The activities of the network will be shaped by the group.

The network is open to creative students, practitioners, and cultural organisations across all art forms, who live/work/study in the Craven area – or have a connection to the area.

The network is facilitated by the North Yorkshire Council Cultural Services Team in partnership with the Great Place: Lakes & Dales programme.

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Rural Culture: Creating a Hub for Craven

Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Rural Culture project worked throughout Craven to develop new ideas for accessible cultural activity within the district’s communities.

Through working in partnership with other rural venues, community groups, creative practitioners and regional organisations, the project championed everyday creativity around the district, exploring how this might help to combat rural and social isolation in a sustainable way.

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Skipton Camerata – Orchestra in Residence

Founded in 2004 by its artistic director Ben Crick, Skipton Camerata is North Yorkshire’s only professional orchestra. In 2005, the orchestra took on the name Skipton Building Society Camerata in recognition of the generous support it continues to receive from its major sponsor, Skipton Building Society.

The orchestra’s core purpose is to provide live classical music to a national standard in areas of limited provision across Yorkshire. It has a growing reputation across the North of England for delivering innovative and engaging performances.

Skipton Camerata likes to introduce audiences to music and composers they may not otherwise discover, so it regularly commissions and premieres new works.

The orchestra regularly teams up with schools and charities to offer workshops and concerts for children and students.

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Skipton Pride

Skipton Pride is an annual celebration of diversity and inclusivity. The event showcases a range of cultural activities, entertainment, and community engagement opportunities.

Skipton Pride is committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all attendees and is organised in collaboration with various local organisations.  The celebration aims to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for everyone.

The first Skipton Pride in 2021 took the form of a programme of events at Skipton Town Hall. Since 2022 a wider programme and outdoor event has been organised in partnership with organisations including Skipton Town Council, Skipton BID, Skipton Library, North Yorkshire Youth Voice, SELFA Children’s Charity, Craven College, and North Yorkshire Youth Charity.

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Carved wooden puppets dressed as jesters


Skipton International Puppet Festival

Since 2005 Skipton has become a magnet for puppet enthusiasts. The biennial celebration showcases puppetry from all over the UK and beyond. With a packed programme of ticketed and free performances, workshops, exhibitions and a parade, Skipton presents an inspirational melting pot for artists and audiences, offering puppet experiences for every age.

The former local authority, Craven District Council, has been working in partnership alongside the group of puppeteer professionals who set up the Festival since its inception. In 2021, due to Covid, the festival took a different shape, with six separate weekends of puppet fun and Skipton Town Hall acting as Venue Partner. From 2023 Skipton Town Hall are now leading on the development and delivery of the festival in partnership with the original organisers, Lempen Puppet Theatre and the SIPF board.

Image © Stephen Garnett

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Great Place Lakes and Dales (GPLD)

Like many rural areas, Craven struggles with our younger generations leaving the area often for work or education, and then not coming back. Our population is aging and many young people choose to leave the area for places which are seen to be more affordable and have better career opportunities.

Set up in August 2017 with funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Historic England and Craven and South Lakeland District Councils and Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks, GPLD works across the Skipton to Grasmere corridor using culture as a catalyst for change.

Working with the team in Skipton Town Hall and other stakeholders and partners across the region, GPLD offers opportunities for young people, builds networks and pilots cultural and creative activities to make more opportunities for young people and to encourage young people to move here.

Image © Stephen Garnett

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Skipton High Street Heritage Action Zone

Funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and administered by Historic England, Skipton’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) seeks to find new uses for empty historic buildings in and around the High Street. It aims to attract younger people to the town centre through the creation of public spaces for cultural activities, and the development of youth markets and festivals.

From 2020 to 2024, working in partnership with Skipton Town Hall and other local organisations, HS HAZ is putting on a four-year programme of cultural activity.

Image © Stephen Garnett

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