New room for stars at hall aiming to hit heights again

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FROM The Beatles to Elgar, it has housed some of the most famous names in modern times.

Now Harrogate’s Royal Hall is set to build a new room for the stars of the future performing at the historic venue.

A planning application has been submitted to Harrogate Borough Council by the Royal Hall Restoration Trust to build a VIP dressing room and new stained glass windows to replace those installed after bombing during the Second World War.

The application comes as a 12-month deal is finalised by Harrogate Borough Council to hand over the running of the Royal Hall to Harrogate Theatre, with a new programme of at least 60 artistic and cultural events planned set to transform the venue.

The bid to breath new life into the Royal Hall has been heralded as the biggest shift in the Harrogate district’s arts world in the last 50 years

The building opened in 1903 as the Kursaal but was renamed following a wave of anti-German sentiment after the First World War

It was reopened by Prince Charles in 2008 after a £10.7m revamp. But the venue staged just 57 events during 2010-11 – only eight of which were commercial

Before the decision to transfer the running of it to Harrogate Theatre, the venue has been costing around £1,000 a day.

However, the deal to take over the Royal Hall, which comes at a cost of £200,000 to the taxpayer, will not be sustainable in its present form beyond 12 months.

Council chiefs have told the Yorkshire Post they are already in talks to secure its future beyond 2013.