Ilkley Manor House To Be Transferred To The Community

Local residents who’ve been campaigning for three years to save the historic Ilkley Manor House from closure have been given the green light by Bradford Metropolitan District Council to take the site over and run it as a Community Asset.

The news comes after months of negotiating and means that ambitious plans to transform the Manor House and its three adjacent cottages into a heritage, community and arts centre can now be put to the test. If negotiations can be completed successfully, a community asset transfer to a newly formed trust will take place within a few months.

Sir Rodney Brooke, chair of the Ilkley Manor House Group, said ‘This is the news we’ve been working towards for a very long time, overcoming many hurdles to try and take the Manor House over and create a vibrant heritage centre and important tourist destination for our town. We have already received generous donations totalling £200k and now the challenging work of applying for further funding to realise our ambitious plans can begin.”

Two open weekends at the Manor House last November prompted a mass of interest, with over 800 people visiting the site and offering suggestions, help and donations. Now a further consultation will begin so that people in the town can have their say in helping to shape this amazing resource.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “We have accepted the New Manor House Group’s proposal for the Manor House and cottages in accordance with the Council’s Community Asset Transfer process, so we are pleased to be able to give them the opportunity to progress their plans and secure the future of these buildings for the benefit of the local community.”

Brian Mann, Chairman of Ilkley Parish Council, said: ‘This is great news for the community. The Manor House will provide much needed facilities for heritage, education and museum space and the team must congratulated on their sustained efforts.’

Please contact Ruth Pitt on 07713 063447 or ruth.pitt2@btinternet or Sarah Thomas on 07834 547959 or ilkleyarttrail@yahoo.com for further details.

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