A PERFORMANCE venue is preparing to reopen following months of closure and financial concerns.

The Milton Rooms in Malton was forced to close in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but will reopen with Ryedale Blues Club on September 24, followed by a production of Three Men in a Boat on September 27 at 2.30pm.

Social distancing measures will be in place for both events and plans have also been developed for anyone who wants to hire the venue.

“The whole team is very much looking forward to opening our doors to audiences later this month,” said Lisa Rich, venue manager at the Milton Rooms.

“It has been probably the most difficult year ever for the Milton Rooms and personally very frustrating as I was appointed just as the country closed down.

“However, we have been busy behind the scenes preparing for reopening and exploring how the venue can be utilised by our whole community.

“It has been a long, arduous seven months for everyone, so we hope that the return of live entertainment in Malton will go some way to putting a smile on people’s faces.”

The Milton Rooms is a charitable limited company, run mostly by volunteers, which hosts community groups such as Musical Memories, Ryedale Youth Theatre and Vintage Dance.

The arts venue launched a fundraising appeal in May, following concerns for the future and lack of revenue.

So far, the fundraiser has reached £2,504 to secure its future.

“Like every business in Ryedale, we will be following strict health and safety guidelines for anyone visiting the Milton Rooms, be they a volunteer, audience member or someone who has hired the building,” added Lisa.

“Luckily, we have had amazing support from the public who obviously value our lovely arts centre and want it continue for future generations. We are very grateful to each and every person.”

For more information, visit ticketsource.co.uk/themiltonrooms