A village hub has reopened with a smart new look after the community pulled together for a £170,000 refurbishment.
Kilburn Village Institute threw open its doors last weekend to show off its transformation, which includes new wheelchair-friendly access and toilets, and a built-in bar featuring handiwork from the nearby Robert Thompson "Mouseman" workshop. There are also new windows, insulation and heating, and an overhauled kitchen.
The project secured grants from several public bodies and charitable foundations, and saw scores of fundraising events held in the village, near Thirsk.
Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright, who is from the area, spoke at the reopening and said the hall has "changed out of all recognition". "It is much more user-friendly, much more welcoming, and I'm sure it will attract people from the village, and from outside the village to use it more," he said.
"I look forward to the newly-refurbished institute being well used and supported."
Institute chairperson Alison Porter thanked all those who had worked so hard to make the refurbishment happen.
She added: "The future aim is to encourage more commercial use of the building because this, as a traditional village hall, has been kept going by cake sales, plant sales, people raising money, and all kinds of activities.
"That is very, very hard fought for money, so we're hoping that we can all now slightly step back from the baking and enjoy the place a bit more."
All proceeds from the third edition of Kilburn's White Horse, a book about the famous landmark, will go towards the upkeep of the hall. It was launched to coincide with the reopening of the institute and is on sale at White Rose Books in Thirsk, and the visitor centre at Sutton Bank.
To find out more about hiring the hall, click here.
See the D&S Times on Friday, October 13, for an in-depth look at the re-launched book.