Tim Sutherland, Liz Baxandall, Cathy Allday and Cllr Ed Darling - outside Claro Chambers in Knaresborough
Tim Sutherland Liz Baxandall, Cathy Allday and Cllr Ed Darling - outside Claro Chambers in Knaresborough

New Renaissance for Renaissance Knaresborough

4 mins read
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Have you ever wondered how got its famous painted Town Windows? Sat on Viaduct Terrace enjoying the view? Or visited the Eastfield Play Area? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you have been appreciating the result of projects brought to fruition by local community group, Renaissance Knaresborough (RK), who are asking the community to join them on their Open Day, Wednesday 15 May, at the former NatWest bank, Knaresborough.

  • Renaissance Knaresborough is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation. Its aim is to invite engagement from the community to promote Knaresborough.
  • RK’s role is to support activities which promote the town’s leisure and tourism and ‘make a great town even better’.

RK was originally set up in 2005 as part of the Renaissance Town initiative sponsored by Yorkshire Forward to support towns in the region. It survived the demise of Yorkshire Forward but it is probably fair to say that without the guidance and support of Yorkshire Forward, it dwindled.

Chair of Renaissance Knaresborough Councillor Samantha Mearns said:

I am pleased to say that RK is having a renaissance of its own. The last couple of years has seen an influx of new and enthusiastic supporters willing to really get behind and deliver local projects. This Open Day is a chance to remind residents of our existence, showcase our previous projects and see what projects are currently ongoing as well on take on board new ideas.

Specifically, the group is now turning its attention to grander schemes to improve the town centre and accessibility around the town. Its most significant project is a proposed cliff lift between Waterside and the Castle. While still far away from construction, the group has made important strides forward in the last 12 months.

A number of surveys have been carried out on the geology of the cliff and a tourism specialist has visited the town, speaking to many people. RK are currently awaiting a further report for this project that would need significant financial backing.

Samantha said:

This Open Day is important for the group for many reasons. We are at the point with our ongoing projects where we are looking for community support, both in terms of manpower, skills and financial resources. We also want to let people know that we are more than happy to help facilitate other projects and if someone is sitting at home with a burning idea to improve the town but doesn’t know how to progress it, we can help.

Renaissance Knaresborough will be launching an appeal to raise funds to put towards the repair and maintenance of their Town Windows.

Samantha explained:

Everyone at RK is a volunteer and gives their time for free. But RK has certain financial commitments to meet each year and it needs to raise money to do so. This year we are turning our attention to the maintenance and repair of Knaresborough’s iconic windows.

The group has specifically chosen Knaresborough Market Day for its event in order to try to engage as many local people as possible. Members will be manning a stand at the Market but have also been able to gain the use of Claro Chambers, the former NatWest Bank, for a display of their work, past and present.

Samantha added:

We are grateful to Phil Cable of CFK Developments for the use of Claro Chambers and hope that as many people as possible will drop in and see us on the day.

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