RYEDALE District Council (RDC) is to considering allocating £193k of funding towards upgrading the Milton Rooms in Malton.

Members of the authority's Policy and Resources committee backed plans for the continued redevelopment of the facility at a meeting last week.

An amendment by Councillor Lindsay Burr to ring fence £500k for the Milton Rooms was lost on the casting vote of council leader Cllr Keane Duncan.

Members of the full council will now decided to give the go-ahead to the £193k at a budget meeting tomorrow night (Thursday).

A report to the council said The Milton Rooms Working Party, which was set up in October 2019, had made significant progress throughout last year. RDC’s Arts and Events Officer was also working with the Trustees and Venue Manager to help, develop arts programming and networking for partnership opportunities.

The report said: "The Milton Rooms Committee’s Business Plan identifies areas for capital improvements which would improve the facilities and provide greater opportunity for audience engagement and community use.

"This supports the plans the venue has for developing new income streams and providing multifunctional community spaces for event use such as wedding receptions. "

The areas identified for improvements include toilet refurbishment, with a new disabled toilet, baby changing facility, and wheelchair accessible lift from foyer to basement.

Further plans included new kitchen facilities to the Assembly Rooms, refurbishment of Main Hall including replastering, floor resurfacing and improvements to stage steps, black out curtains, a new professional lighting rig and new heating system for the main hall.

The total identified costs were projected to be £192,657.07

The report said: "Feedback from the public has consistently referenced the poor state of the toilets, that they are shabby and smelly and that many are put off from using the venue due to this.

"Members of the public have also referenced the main hall, that is unwelcoming and in need of redecoration.

"Other developments in the grant request are all aimed at improving the visitor experience, improving the venues ability to better engage audiences, widening the potential for community use and improving general public access. The developments will support the Milton Rooms’ drive to be a sustainable community venue, and respond to the venue’s business and community development plans.