AN expensive art collection belonging to a former Ilkley resident will go on show at Skipton, before a permanent home in the town can be constructed.

The collection, amassed and bequeathed by Clement Roebuck, who lived at Currer Hall, Langbar, includes a painting believed to be by the great Dutch master Rembrandt.

Craven District Council was left the 145 works of art, described as one of the nation's hidden treasures' in a BBC documentary.

Mr Roebuck, who loved the Dales and lived for a time in Starbotton, in upper Wharfedale, insisted in his will that the collection be given a permanent home. He died in the late 1990s.

Craven council has now satisfied his wishes and that of the trustees, after the collection has been shown in a series of exhibitions at the new Craven Gallery in High Street, Skipton.

Catherine Johnson, Craven's art and exhibition's officer, said until 2005 there had been no official gallery where examples of the collection could be shown.

But the opening of the Craven Gallery has enabled staff to arrange a series of shows. In the long term the aim is to construct a permanent gallery for the collection.

"The plan is to demolish the annexe building at Skipton town hall and build a new art gallery just for the collection. The present gallery would then be used for other works of art and travelling exhibitions," she said.

The highlight of the collection is the small (seven inches by six-and-a-half inches) painting attributed to Rembrandt which was bought by Mr Roebuck in the 1930s at Christie's in London. It has yet to be fully authenticated by experts.

Craven council's head of cultural services, Andrew Mackay, said Mr Roebuck was the son of a prosperous Huddersfield furniture maker who turned his back on the family business.

He moved into upper Wharfedale before buying the house at Langbar. With a large financial legacy from his father, he became a friend of artists, writers and theatrical people.

As a member of the selection committee of Huddersfield Art Gallery, Mr Roebuck made contact with many artists from whom he could buy paintings which had been rejected by the gallery, said Mr Mackay.

Mr Mackay said: "It is a completely random collection, some are quite important while others are barely above amateur standard."

The Roebuck Collection, valued in 1989 at £200,000, was featured on The One Show on BBC1 yesterday.

The collection includes the five works of art to go on display at the Craven Gallery from yesterday and they are scheduled to run until September 11.

Also on display at the Craven Gallery is a view of Mr Roebuck's house in Starbotton by the famous Ilkley artist, Herbert Royle, whose own works on occasions come up for auction in Ilkley.