As Patron of the Royal Hall Restoration
Trust, I am delighted to lend my support to the Trust's
efforts to raise the funds towards the restoration
of this unique part of our national heritage.
Over the past one-hundred years, this magnificent building
has faithfully served the people of Harrogate and the
surrounding district in many different roles. The inherent
versatility of Frank Matcham's brilliant concept for
this theatre building has enabled the Royal Hall to be
used for a range of purposes - from a cinema to a boxing
arena, from an area for exhibition displays to a dance
hall; from ballet to theatre performances, from school
speech days to concert hall - the list is almost endless.
It has truly justified the "act of faith in the future
of the town" made by those far-sighted local leaders
who were so inspirational in its creation and who saw
it as a vital part of Harrogate's future prosperity.
I am pleased to learn that the restoration programme
is progressing well, and that the Royal Hall is planned
to re-open in three years' time in a condition which
will reinstate the splendour of Matcham's original design.
The successful completion of this ambitious project will
not only have preserved an invaluable part of the historical
and architectural heritage of our nation, but, equally
importantly, it will once again have enable this wonderful
old building to take its place at the centre of the social,
economic and cultural life of Harrogate and its District.
I would urge you to support the appeal in any way that