ILKLEY charity, the Friends of King’s Hall and Winter Garden, is appealing to residents and supporters of the venue to show their support and join the charity, by pledging just £2 a month.

The ‘Friends’ work alongside the owners Bradford Theatres to help fund projects in the historic building as new Chairman Richard Bradley explains: “We work with Bradford Theatres to help fund the upkeep, refurbishing and updating our wonderful building.

“During lockdown, eight local companies sponsored the refurbishment of the boxes, which were repainted, new carpets laid and new bespoke chairs made. While this work was happening, we also paid for the front of house and staircases to be re-carpeted and new signage throughout the building.

“Bradford Theatres, part of Bradford Council, have funded many improvements and continue to do so. The dressing rooms are currently being refurbished, along with other areas of the venue. In a building such as ours this is an ongoing job and Bradford Theatres don’t have a never-ending pot of money.”

Looking back over the past two years Richard added: “Without central government financial support we may not have survived Covid. Many theatres, like ours, are aiming to operate at full capacity but this is not quite so easy to achieve.

“Thanks to Bradford Theatres we are seeing more and more touring artist visit Ilkley, including many household names, who join our fantastic local users, such as the Upstagers, Ilkley Literature Festival, Ilkley Amateur Operatic Society and many more.”

Richard added: “By joining our charity and pledging just £2 per month we can continue to support the King’s Hall & Winter Garden and invest for the future. 100 per cent of your money will go directly back into these two Ilkley venues.”

The Friends were formed in 2000 to work for the renovation and restoration of Ilkley’s much-loved community halls and theatre complex.

The Friends’ fund-raising events are highlighted on this website with direct links provided to the comprehensive programme operated by Bradford Theatres and to performances/events by local organisations with representatives on the Friends’ committee.

Other organisations hold events in the King’s Hall or Winter Garden. Any such organisation, which has a committee member who is a Friend of the KH&WG, is invited to post a brief description on this website together with a link to that organisation’s own website.

You can read about the work the Friends continue to do and sign up to support them on the website: