TOWN councillors have agreed to reallocate funding to upgrade part of the Milton Rooms in Malton.

Members of Malton Town Council have voted to give £4,500, which was earmarked for use towards the hiring of a paid venue manager, towards the short-term basic redecoration of the Assembly Rooms, which is part of the building, as well as improved lighting and additional power points.

Last September the Milton Rooms was turned down for Lottery funding towards a £500,000 redevelopment of the building, which includes the Assembly Rooms and Malton Museum. However, a revised plan is now being considered with funding from other sources.

Merryn Wilderspin, chairman of the Milton Rooms Board, said: “We are very grateful to Malton Town Council for their generosity and support of our ambitions to redecorate the Assembly Rooms at the Milton Rooms. The Assembly Rooms is a very much a hidden jewel of the Milton Rooms and our hopes are that by late spring 2019 we will have brought it back into use as an additional performance space and also make it available for meetings and private event hire.

“We were obviously disappointed at the decision of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), but this is a first step in enabling us to move forward with modest improvements.

“We are currently working on a new plan for longer term improvements, including a much-needed upgrade of our toilet facilities and aim to start looking to raise funding for these soon.”

Merryn said the Milton Rooms’ core purpose was about providing a vibrant entertainment facility and event hire space. She said: “We have also made great strides towards making the Milton Rooms fit for purpose in many critical areas and meeting the ever-increasing challenges of operating a public venue in the 21st Century.”

Paul Andrews, mayor of Malton, said: “The town council has been impressed with the work of the Milton Rooms team. I feel they are making the best possible use of the building, and providing an excellent programme of entertainment.

“The Assembly Room is a beautiful Georgian facility, built to entertain guests after race meetings. It needs to be restored to its former glory and Malton Town Council welcomes the modest improvements planned as a first step to full restoration.”