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Grassington Town Hall is owned by Grassington Parish Council and operated, by agreement, by a charity (Grassington Devonshire Institute (the 'GDI')). Whilst the GDI was set up in 1960, it became a 'Charitable Incorporated Organisation' in 2019. Essentially a members' organisation, the GDI retained much of the original 'objects' of the constitution which state:- 'The objects of the CIO are to manage and control the Town Hall in Grassington and, in the interests of social welfare, to provide or assist in the provision of facilities for recreation and other leisure time occupation of the inhabitants of Grassington and its immediate neighbourhood with a view to improving their conditions of life'.
The building comprises of three distinct sections; the original building was erected as a Mechanics Institute by the Duke of Devonshire in 1855 and, in effect, donated to the village in 1896. In 1923, the Main Hall was added and, following significant local fund-raising and a grant from the National Lottery, the Octagon Theatre and its 'wrap around' corridors were added in 1998.
Today, the GDI is governed by a group of Trustees on behalf of a growing, subscribing membership. The Trustees and Treasurer are all local volunteers who commit significant time to managing, maintaining and improving the Town Hall for the enjoyment of locals and visitors alike.
Whilst the Town Hall attracts many local groups and private individuals to stage their own events and activities, the GDI stages several of its own events each year and sets charges for hire, which help to raise the necessary revenue to allow the building to remain a usable and attractive asset for the local community.