Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
8:22 PM 17th May 2021

New Look North Yorkshire Arts Centre Reopens

The Courthouse - credit Rob Crawshaw Photography
The Courthouse - credit Rob Crawshaw Photography
A North Yorkshire arts organisation today opens its doors to the public after five months of closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The re-opening of The Courthouse coincides with the completion of extensive refurbishments to the Grade II listed arts centre, alongside a rebrand, a website redesign and the launch of a new, expanded programme of activities.

“We’re so excited to share our new and improved facilities with the world”, says Max May, Director and CEO of Rural Arts.

“These renovations secure the building for future generations, improving our accessibility and environmental credentials and ensuring all our visitors can feel welcome and comfortable”.

The renovations include the installation of Thirsk’s second ‘Changing Place’ standard accessible bathroom, alongside redecoration and reflooring throughout the building.

The re-opening means that after months of delivering activities online and via the post, Rural Arts can once again welcome participants in person to performances, workshops, exhibitions and events. May adds:

"Throughout lockdown we’ve reached over 55,000 people, many of whom were new to Rural Arts. As we restart activities in person – both at The Courthouse and across North Yorkshire – we want people to feel like there’s something for everyone.”

Brand new for this year are ‘Basics for Beginners’ art courses, an exhibition exploring perceptions of disability, and a performance from BBC Radio York’s poet laureate Olivia Mulligan. Rural Arts also have a number of free outreach projects for older people and those not in education, work or training.

For details of opening times and for the full programme of activities, visit