Milton Rooms, Malton

Restoring and adapting a prominent architectureal Heritage and Arts Centre in Malton

The Subscription Rooms were built in 1814 on land owned by Earl Fitzwilliam and were originally used for meetings, balls and other social events. The Milton Rooms, an Art Deco dance hall, was added in 1931 to mark the 21st birthday of Viscount Milton, the heir to the Fitzwilliam title.  The whole forms a very unusual Grade II listed building. 
The Subscription Rooms face onto Yorkersgate, one of the main roads through the town, and the Milton Rooms face the Market Place.  The building is a prominent feature of the town but sadly its state of disrepair undermines its Conservation Area setting.
In 2011 we met with the Chair of the Milton Rooms Charitable Trust (MRCT), who told us about the group’s vision to restore and reuse the buildings. 
The Milton Rooms has a vision of being the premier venue for professional and amateur arts and a centre that celebrates the unique heritage and history of the Milton Rooms, the town of Malton and the surrounding area.
In order to achieve this vision the trustees recognise the need to establish some clear goals to provide a focus for their strategic plans:
1. The building is developed and maintained to preserve its architectural heritage and history
2. The building and its facilities are available for use by local groups for the purposes of furthering participation and enjoyment of the arts and heritage for all
3. The Milton Rooms presents and/or hosts a balanced programme of arts and entertainment 
4. The Milton Rooms complex provides a suitable venue for permanent and temporary heritage/history exhibitions and supporting programmes of activity
5. A sustainable financial position is established to enable the Milton Rooms to thrive and play its part in promoting the cultural life of our community
6. The Milton Rooms plays its full part in supporting initiatives and activities for the ongoing development of a thriving community for Malton and the surrounding area
A major step in achieving this vision is the complete renovation and refurbishment of this unusual listed building, creating access for disabled people to all parts of the building and making the building fit for the 21st century.
From 2011 we have worked with the Milton Rooms to strengthen its relationship with the local authority (Ryedale District Council), the Fitzwilliam Estate and other key stakeholders. We have since established a steering group with representatives from the Milton Rooms and the Council. 
In 2014/15 the Council funded 70% of an options appraisal with the Architectural Heritage Fund providing the remaining 30%. We supported MRCT to write a vision statement, so the whole steering group and stakeholders can have a consistent and coherent vision to present.
Following on from the options appraisal, plans that work solely within the existing footprint of the building were drawn up and applications have been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Ryedale District Council to support these proposals.