It’s been bubbling away for more than 10 years – but now plans for a permanent performance pavilion within the grounds of historic Knaresborough Castle have taken another leap forward.
Detailed discussions for a band staging area in the medieval stronghold have occurred since 2002, but in 2012 Harrogate Borough Council voted to support the development if a list of provisos were fulfilled.
These included Knaresborough Town Council taking full financial responsibility for the project as well as undertaking archaeological investigations at the proposed site, and that the stage design be agreeable to heritage protection body Historic England.
Six years since these stipulations were outlined, the matter returned to the council – with Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Sport Councillor Stan Lumley approving the next step of the project on Thursday, November 1.
The approval means that Knaresborough Town Council can now apply for planning permission from HBC. That’s not where the paperwork ends though; they’ll also have to apply for consent from Historic England, as well as landowner permission from the Duchy of Lancaster – the property portfolio arm for the Duke of Lancaster, Queen Elizabeth II herself.
The news was welcomed by President of the Chamber of Trade in Knaresborough, Stephen Teggin, who said he hoped the process could be “sped up” after years of preparation work.
“Anything that brings something to the table for Knaresborough is welcome, and we’ve been wanting this since day dot,” Mr Teggin said.
After more than a decade in the planning pipeline, the trade chamber president said he hoped work could now progress quickly.
“Hopefully it’s not a long process from here. It’s been years so it would be great to see it sped up,” he said.
He added that the pavilion, combined with the castle lights project which will see the castle draped in variety of coloured lights, could see the castle grounds become the home of weekly events.
“It’d be an absolute attraction – on a weekly basis we could be providing entertainment here. It’d be so well used,” he said.
Lachlan Leeming , Local Democracy Reporting Service