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Projects & Partnerships

Skipton Town Hall is home to the Craven District Council Cultural Services team. 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

Craven District Council’s Arts Development Officer is based at Skipton Town Hall as part of the Cultural Services Team.

Our Arts Development service supports individuals, community groups, cultural organisations and creative practitioners so that Craven 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 or telephone 01756 706408 to speak to the Council’s Arts & Cultural Development Officer.

Image © Dan Archer



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, Skipton Town Hall 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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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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Sheep Street in Skipton


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.

For more information or to get involved contact Beth Sculpher, at

Image © Stephen Garnett

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.

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.

Image © Stephen Garnett

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