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The Courthouse closed until 3rd August

The Courthouse closed until 3rd August

On Wednesday 10th June 2020, we announced that The Courthouse would remain closed until Monday 3rd August 2020 to allow Rural Arts to move forwards with its transformational £200,000 capital redevelopment. 

This was announced by our Director, Max May, in the video below.

A transcript of the video in its entirety follows.

A message from our Director


I’m Max May, the Director and Chief Executive of Rural Arts.

Firstly, I hope you and yours are keeping safe and well during this difficult time. 

Since closing our doors, our online initiative #RADISH – Rural Arts’ Daily Inspiration while Staying at Home – has reached over 3,000 people. We've also reintroduced two of our outreach projects remotely, and our Resource Pack has been downloaded all over the country.

Now we'd like to share with you our plans for The Courthouse's re-opening.

Since March, we've been exploring the different ways we can move forward through this challenging period. In February, we'd started work on an exciting £200,000 capital redevelopment project, which has been on hold - until now.

Coronavirus has had a devastating impact, locally, nationally and internationally. Given the impact that Government-mandated closures and social distancing will have on our activity for months to come, after consultation with staff and trustees, we have decided that the best course of action is to keep the building closed and to forge ahead with our redevelopment.

This will allow us to make transformational changes to our building and ensure that when we do reopen, The Courthouse is better than ever.

The redevelopment work includes a new accessible bathroom, brand new café and shop facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, innovative environmental improvements and vital structural repair.

So, today we are announcing that The Courthouse will be closed until Monday 3rd August 2020.

As we approach our thirtieth anniversary, and enter the “new normal”, we’re looking forward to providing our communities with exciting new equipment and an improved experience.

We’re grateful for your patience and support as we start this exciting journey.


We've had to postpone over 200 events, workshops, performances, screenings, exhibitions and more at The Courthouse and across North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley.

Programming these were a mammoth undertaking, and unfortunately so is rescheduling them. We are working hard to do this, and the majority of activity will be rescheduled for dates between 3rd August - 31st October 2020.

Sadly, some activities - such as screenings - are out of our control and may have to be cancelled. Please read our Coronavirus FAQs about how we will move forward in this instance.

Currently, less than 25% of our small team are working, so we are grateful for your patience as someone reaches out to you with more information about your booking.

If your event/activity cannot be rescheduled, or is rescheduled to a date that you cannot attend, we would ask that you allow us to transfer your booking to another activity, or provide you with credit. As a small charity who anticipates significant financial turbulence over the coming period, many requests for refunds may de-stabilise us further.


Of course, The Courthouse is just one third of what we do. We have outreach projects across the county, and ON Tour, which brings 70 professional performances to community venues every year.

Heart and Craft

If you attend one of our eight groups across the county, sign up below to receive a new activity by post every fortnight. We're also curating an online exhibition so email in your entries!

Craft Pack sign up:

Exhibition entries: 


Four of our five weekly drama sessions for young people with learning disabilities are now running in digital format (with the fifth in the pipeline)!

Email for more information on how to join.

ON Tour

The government have not yet announced when live performances can recommence, meaning we don't know if our Autumn season of performances in community venues across North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley will go ahead. We'll be in touch when we know more!

Monday Makers and Action Towards Inclusion

Both of our projects that provide free skills development for unemployed people are currently postponed. We are investigating how to run these remotely. If you've not been involved before, but would like to know more, email!



#RADISH provides you with free creative inspiration every weekday through workshops, artist profiles, talks and tutorials and memories from our 30 year history! Don't forget to check out our Pay What You Can resource pack for everyone 4+.

Get Digital

Do you want to become more confident using your computer, tablet or smartphone?

Would you like to know how to video call your loved ones, do your shopping online or attend a virtual pub quiz or craft workshop?

Rural Arts can offer you free support to help you stay connected during this difficult time. This could be over the phone, online or through instructions posted to you.

To sign up, complete the form or contact our Digital Tutor Claire. 


Contact details: or 07828 975 335.


One last thing... Could you support Rural Arts?

We run over 600 arts activities every single year in communities across North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley.

And we couldn't do it without your support. 

If you can, please consider helping Rural Arts weather this storm.

You can donate to Rural Arts here or email about remote volunteering opportunities.