One of Harrogate’s most iconic and towering buildings is launching a new era in spectacular fashion.
The town’s only Grade 1 listed building - and one of the UK’s biggest churches - St Wilfrid’s on Duchy Road has been hampered by a lack of venue-style lighting for the regular events it holds.
And an absence of central heating didn't exactly help concert-goers either.
But, in an exciting new development, this gem of a building designed by one of England’s greatest architects Temple Lushington Moore can now boast both facilities.
The results are truly spectacular.
First opened in 1914, the 38th largest parish church in England is expanding its availability as a venue for concerts, wedding receptions and commercial events.
Leading the work to build up the use of St Wilfrid’s, Rebecca Oliver, facilities and events manager, said: “It’s great that a building like St Wilfrid’s is such an adaptable space. We’re excited by the possibilities we can now offer as a stand-out venue in Harrogate.”
The new lighting is something that can be installed specifically for such events, as part of a hire package in partnership with independent Harrogate firm Allan Smyth Audio Visual Ltd.
The church is also working in partnership with selected catering companies to offer a stunningly different venue for corporate, charity and commercial events.
The Rector of St Wilfrid’s, Fr Gary Waddington said: “Every year we have to find £250,000 to keep this extraordinary building going, and to maintain our work here.
"The Church of England is encouraging all its parishes to be more entreprenurial to help maintain our historic buildings.
"We believe that with our new heating and the ability to show-off the wonderful features of this amazing space we have not only a fantastic church, but also a brilliant space for hire - a truly unique venue in Harrogate.
"We’re excited to work with a talented team in order to make St Wilfrid’s a real destination venue with an incredible wow factor.”
As part of the next stage in the historic church’s extensive restoration project to transform its facilities and safeguard its very future, 2018 will see a new sound system installed and conservation work to the noted Darlington panel art works.
Significant work will also be undertaken to restore the guttering and downpipes which help keep the building watertight.