GUISELEY Theatre is taking on a new lease of life with the creation of a Community Interest Company.

The move will allow access to funds for renovation, maintenance and new facilities. It is the culmination of five years of hard work by the theatre’s board and will be launched at a public event this weekend.

What is now the theatre began life as Guiseley Town Hall. It was built in 1867 using public subscriptions from residents, including a large donation from entrepreneur Sir Matthew William Thompson, who gifted the town hall ‘to the people of Guiseley forever’.

Since then, the building has had many uses, most notably as the home of Guiseley Amateur Operatic Society for close to a century. It has also been a wartime hospital, a cinema, school, fire station and library. In recent years, the building has been the venue for a programme of weekly classes and events.

Chris Ingram, Chairman of Guiseley Theatre CIC said he was excited about what the new status as a Community Interest Company would mean for the future.

“In recent years, we have seen a real need in the community for this building to be used as a centre for the arts in Guiseley,” he said.

“The Theatre Board - a subcommittee of the amateur society - have successfully run this building for almost 40 years now and we are grateful for the hard work and loyalty that has been shown to the building over the years. “We feel that becoming a CIC is an important step in the history of the Theatre, to gain access to new funds for essential renovation and maintenance works, as well as to develop new facilities so as to keep the building at the centre of the Guiseley Community for years to come.”

The Company is still being run by members of the old Theatre Board as well as newly appointed voluntary directors, who will be involved in the daily running of the building.

Now local people are being invited to an event where they can find out more about the history and future of Guiseley Theatre, and have their say about what they would like to see happening.

The open event is being staged at the theatre from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, September 21. Visitors will be able to attend talks, tours, exhibitions and also chat to volunteers about how to get involved.

Anyone wanting to support or sponsor the renovations of Guiseley Theatre should contact the Board of Directors at