Craven District Council and contractors Bermar have agreed to continue the £4.5 million Skipton Town Hall development project, with a reduced workforce to ensure safe working.
The decision has been taken following the recent issue of new construction site guidance from the Government.
Essential works to the roof have been completed safely with a small team onsite and the rest of the work needed for the project is now continuing.
There are a reduced number of workers in order to enable social distancing, and several measures have been put in place for the safe operation of the site. These include a one-way system for site operatives, additional hand washing and sanitising facilities and procedures, additional welfare facilities, and appropriate PPE.
Danielle Daglan, Cultural Services Manager at Craven District Council, said: “We are committed to safely completing the Town Hall project as soon as possible.
“Completing this redevelopment is now even more important as it will play an integral part in our overall response to COVID19 recovery, both in terms of contribution to local economy and community wellbeing.
“The completion of the project was due in winter 2020 – this is now unlikely although it is difficult to say exactly when the Town Hall and Museum will reopen as this is an evolving situation. We want to complete the project as quickly and as safely as possible and we will keep everyone updated on our progress.”
The workforce is expected to increase back to 100% as and when certain restrictions are lifted and further updated guidance is issued by the government.
When completed, the £4.5 million project will deliver a restored and upgraded Concert Hall, a completely redesigned Craven Museum, and a new gallery space.
A new extension at the back of the Town Hall will house a dedicated education space, museum store and research facility, plus flexible use dressing rooms and toilets, including an accessible Changing Place Toilet. Two accessible lifts are being installed to the front of the new museum and within the rear extension.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund gave a grant of £1.5 million to Craven District Council, which is part-funding the ambitious redevelopment plans.
The project is also being funded with £943,800 of match-funding and capital funding of £532,390 from Craven District Council. The remaining £1.6m is being underwritten by Craven District Council with funding applications pending.