Dear Reader: Moving Angel of the North to Surrey

Graham Chalmers

Graham Chalmers

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Column by the Harrogate Advertiser’s Graham Chalmers

I intend no slight on Harrogate when I say there’s no cultural centre to it.

The same could be said of Ripon or Knaresborough or most places in Britain.

There is certainly an impressive amount of concerts and exhibitions and shows around and lots of talented local groups doing good things.

There’s plenty to admire in feva festival in Knaresborough and Ripon International Festival and Harrogate International Festival, the latter now more a brand with a series of successful strands spread across the year.

But there’s no single meeting point, no shared facilities, no arts centre, to revive an expression of the 1970s. Or at least that’s what I thought until I met a couple of people who enjoy the arts in the area so much they’d decided to give something back.

But they’d both volunteered their precious time and a little of their money for slightly different reasons.

One liked certain types of shows and events, the other liked other types of shows and events.

What had brought them both together was that the whole panorama of their passions took place under just one roof - Harrogate Theatre.

Restructuring frenzy!

The police headquarters are to move from Newby Wiske to Northallerton.

Harrogate Borough Council’s offices are to move from Crescent Gardens to Knapping Mount.

Harrogate as a whole may be about to leave North Yorkshire and become part of ‘Leeds City Region’.

Or not, as the case may be. Whatever happens, the current British fad for relocation and restructuring seems to have evolved from a matter of practicality into a full-blown obsession.

The question is whether it can go further still?

Could, perhaps, important existing buildings or landmarks simply be moved somewhere else?

Probably not but it would be interesting to see the Angel of the North turn up in Surrey, for example.