OTLEY Courthouse is seeking a new manager.

Current Centre Manager Steve Manthorp, who took on the role at the arts venue last summer, is leaving to start a new challenge he says he 'couldn't refuse'.

Visual artist Mr Manthorp, formerly the Co-ordinator of Yorkshire and Humber Visual Arts, will become project manager for the University of Leeds' Cultural Institute on August 1.

Before that, however, he is hoping to help introduce his successor - who will be given the new title, of Centre Director, to reflect a more strategic emphasis - to the intricacies of the Courthouse job.

He said: "This was an opportunity I couldn't refuse but I've never enjoyed working anywhere as much as I have here, at Otley Courthouse, and I would very cheerfully have worked my days out if this hadn't come along."

Courthouse Chair David Robson said he would be sorry to see Mr Manthorp, who finishes on July 31, go.

He said: "Steve has brought an enormous wealth of experience and expertise to the Courthouse and we wish him every success as he takes on his new role at Leeds University.

"In the relatively short time he has been with us has has proved to be very resourceful and has wielded a computer, a funding bid and a screwdriver with equal ability."

The deadline for applications for the Creative Director position is Friday, June 29 - for more details visit www.otleycourthouse.org.uk .

The Courthouse, meanwhile, is currently working on turning part of its building - the block that was previously Leeds Citizens Advice's Otley office - into an open creative workshop.

The venue, which is run as a charity limited by guarantee, is also planning to soon upgrade its Courtroom by installing a new sound desk, lighting and speakers.