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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.

For more information or to get involved contact Beth Sculpher, at BSculpher@cravendc.gov.uk

Main Programme Objectives:

  1. Residents re-engage with the town centre – with a focus on attracting younger people to use the town and drive the local economy
  2. Re-use/re-purpose heritage buildings – to bring redundant spaces back into use by attracting younger people to live, work and visit the town centre
  3. Create public spaces for new and diverse activities – use the historic fabric of the town to generate opportunities for young people that will change the cultural role of the town centre.
  4. Enhance the links between the High Street and hidden parts of Skipton – by emphasizing the heritage aspects of the ginnels, people are encouraged to explore and dwell for longer.
  5. Increase the number of young creatives working in Skipton – provide more opportunities for young creatives to produce and display their products which will change the look and feel of the town centre.
  6. Walking and cycle friendly town – make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle around Skipton, using the built heritage for interest in order to increase footfall and dwell time.
Front of Skipton Town Hall

Main projects to deliver on those objectives are:

  1. Skipton Town Hall – create a Cultural Centre including Museum & Performance Venue
  2. Craven Arts House, Otley Street – transform an old community centre into a creative/workshop space for artists and performers
  3. The Canal Quarter – re-branding, public realm and accessibility enhancements
  4. The Ginnels – declutter, restore and enhance linkages between the High Street and secondary retail areas, such as Coach Street.
  5. Skipton Market – improve and extend the market infrastructure in order to encourage new and young enterprising traders to create a diverse shopping experience.
  6. Conservation & Heritage Programme – review & assessment of Skipton’s historic and listed buildings.
  7. Cultural Programme – involve young creatives from local cultural and heritage organisations to engage and nurture local talent in a variety of art, music and entertainment projects.

Cultural Programme Projects

Craven Music Match

Craven Music Match (CMM) connects musicians from the area to build a supportive, diverse and open network spanning different genres, which can exchange knowledge and skills and be part of the growing live music scene in Skipton and the Craven area.

We want to support those who are in the beginning stages of their careers and who would benefit from: professional mentoring and workshops; opportunities to develop their regional audience; collaboration with other local artists.

Find out more

Soundtrack to Skipton

The Soundtrack of Skipton is a mass participation audio project encouraging the people of Skipton (and visitors) to think about their local environment more closely, how it sounds, what they love about it, what makes it unique.

Using their phones people record I minute of sound that represents Skipton to them, it’s then uploaded to an interactive map for others to listen to. These audio postcards create a unique and growing archive of a place. We have also commissioned artistic responses to the sound map from musicians and film makers.

Find out more

Skipton Trails App

Then & Now aims to inspire young people to develop a sense of pride in their locality and a greater understanding of their town’s heritage through engagement with Skipton Library’s local archive collections. This will be facilitated through workshops lead by a digital artist who will encourage the young people to create their own distinctive digital interpretation of the town’s heritage.

For more information contact skipton.library@northyorks.gov.uk or call 01609 534548

Community in Colour

Community in Colour is a project that aims to inject colour and joy into Skipton through a series of murals, connecting history and heritage with modern artistic styles. Fresh Perspective use the history of each location as inspiration for each design and combining it with young people’s interpretations of the heritage to create fun, colour pieces of art. Once all the murals are complete, an online mural map will be created using QR codes at each location, with the history of each building available to read.

For more information about the project, please email Beth Sculpher at beth@freshperspective.org.uk

Dogs Dales

Dogs’ Dales is an Immersive Media project by Kettu Studios, a Skipton based film & animation studio.

An Animated TV Series about dogs in the Dales and Augmented Reality Trail Apps linked to the story where you can meet and dance with the characters! It is made from the magic of Skipton, Craven District and The Dales, in North Yorkshire, UK. Some real local places are magically turned into animation sets and actual local people inspired the characters of look-a-like breeds of dogs and REAL old myths from the area have been carefully woven into fun and exciting educational story. Welcome to Dogs’ Dales!

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Watch This Space

Watch This Space is about looking at spaces (any spaces) differently and asking how they might be used to support, encourage, and build the creative and cultural sector in Skipton.

The project was piloted by Great Place Lakes and Dales in 2019 and 2021 the project helped people working in creative industries experiment and test different spaces. These pilots saw digital workshops take place in a co-working space, an opera singer take over a parish hall, performers develop aerial skills in a barn and poetry created in a restaurant window to name a few. The project also enabled collaboration between artists, new skills to be learnt and ideas to be tested – it gave the ‘space’ for people to explore.

Now Watch this Space is back in Skipton for 2022/2023 with HAZ and we are on the hunt for spaces and creatives to work with.

Find out more