If readers haven’t ventured into Hugh Ripley Hall for a while, now might be a good time - £10,000 has just been spent on doing the place up, and making it even more of a community facility.
The money invested by Ripon City Council is part of a drive to increase use of the historic building, and see all of its spaces being enjoyed more by residents across all age groups.
Members of the Hugh Ripley Hall Committee are passionate about ploughing as much money back into developing the hall as possible, using surplus money from hiring out the rooms to make more positive changes. The ceiling in the main hall has been replaced, and older lighting has been swapped for new LED lighting.
Committee chairman Andrew Williams said “everywhere has been given a lick of paint,” and visitors will see new carpets and changes to the bar room, amongst other developments.
Hugh Ripley Hall is already being used by a number of community groups in the city, but the committee recognises that some residents might not know it’s there to be hired, and want to see it being used to its full potential.
Members said it is perfect for meetings and functions like birthday parties, dances and wedding anniversary celebrations. Coun Williams said: “I think it’s very important that we have a community building available for community use. I am determined that we will continue to improve and enhance it to a really good standard. Hugh Ripley Hall looks very different now to how it did.”
Ripon’s Save the Children branch has been using the hall for its annual nearly new sale for many years, and Coun Williams emphasised the importance of protecting the building to continue such traditions. He said: “Without it, Save the Children would not have a venue.”
Vice-chairman of the committee, Coun Richard Willis, has fond memories of the hall hosting dances in the 1980s to raise money for the restoration of Ripon canal. He said: “We have tried to bring the place up to date to make it much more welcoming and warm. It’s a good facility and it’s reasonably priced.”