About the Hut

A multi-use community resource

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A History of the Hut

The Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) was created to ensure the continuity of local community services, as well as preserve the local heritage and provide new facilities, including a village playing field.  

  • The Goathland Cricket Club was formed in 1874 as the Vale of Goathland Cricket Club.  It first played at Beck Hole, before moving to the current location in 1876.  The cricket pavilion, with very limited facilities, had fallen into disrepair and was uninsurable
  • The mobile library facility had been removed in 2011
  • The local Long Sword dance team, known as the Goathland Plough Stots, had become the oldest surviving group in Britain of this dance form, which is also the traditional dance of North Yorkshire.  Over the years, the Goathland Plough Stots had been bequeathed artefacts from local teams and some from East Cleveland, which had ceased to exist - it was important that there was somewhere locally which could be used as an exhibition venue and provide visitors with an insight to the cultural heritage of the area.

After considering alternatives, the solution was to buy land adjacent to the cricket ground and develop an appropriate facility for the benefit of the 450 village residents and some of the 500,000 annual visitors.  Over two years, extensive consultation processes took place and the CIO was formally recognised by the Charities Commission in 2014, with support from a number of organisations including Goathland Primary School, North Yorkshire County Council, Scarborough Borough Council, English Folk Song & Dance Society, North Yorkshire County Council Library Services, Goathland Parish Council and the Sword Dance Union.

Specifically, the following uses were identified and incorporated into the final plans:

  • reinstatement of the Village Library, run by volunteers and supported by the County Library Service
  • provision of a Community Meeting Place for residents and visitors
  • provision of a Village Playing/Sports Field with a football pitch (previously never available in the village)
  • provision of a new Cricket Pavilion, complete with accessible and male/female changing facilities
  • Performing Arts Venue for all genres, to encourage and promote artists wishing to show case their work and talents
  • home to the Goathland Plough Stots
  • establishment of the first National Heritage & Cultural Exhibition Centre to Long Sword Dancing
  • home to the Sword Dance Union
  • provision of a training facility, lecture & exhibition space for organisations such as the Goathland Village Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service

It was also agreed that Twelve Oak Trees would be planted adjacent to the Hut, in memory of the men from the village who paid the ultimate price in the Great War.  

The Development of the Hut

Significant amounts of work were provided on a pro bono basis ranging from legal services, planning and design, installation of new land drainage, provision of the car park, fencing and boundary hedging, loans of diggers and bulldozers etc.  The trustees recognise and thank village volunteers and organisitions, such as Interserve Ltd, The Woodlands Trust, Northern Power Grid, & Wilf Noble Plant Ltd for this contribution, estimated to be worth over £112,000.  John Wright Electrical & Mechanical Engineers of York designed, supplied, installed, tested and commissioned the electrical installation (to a value of £35,000) and many companies gave extremely generous discounts, including Grant UK Ltd, who supplied the heating boiler.

Special thanks also go to:  Applebridge Construction Ltd, Adam Beckett, Fields in Trust, Alex Stephenson, Goathland Community Fund, Andrew & Gayle Fiddler, Interserve Ltd, Andrew HollinsAndy & Sally SmithAndy & Sheila Calvert, Naish Estate Agents & Solicitors Ltd, Angus & Claire NicholsonAubrey & Margaret O'Brien, Northern Power Grid Ltd, Ben Braim, NYMNPA Community Fund, Barry Bream, NYMR, Bob West & Kate Atkinson, Brian & Christine Kell, The Bernard Sunley Foundation, Carl Garrett, Charles & Elsie Sykes Trust, Catherine Mahon, The Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund, Charlie Woodward, The Foyle Foundation, Dave, Helen & Tom Beeforth, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Jack Brunton Charitable Trust, Derek Schofield, The Morrisons Foundation, Dickie & Jennifer Attridge, The Normanby Trust, Don Walker, The Peter Sowerby Foundation, Doc Rowe & Jill Pidd, The Rank Foundation, Emma & Mark Braim, The Sir George Martin Trust, Emma Smith, Faye Thompson, Two Ridings Community Foundation, Gary & Liz MiddletonGeoff Kirk, Yorkshire Building, Georgia & Natasha Stone, Yorventure, Goathland Cricket Club, Goathland Plough Stots, Peter Dale, Graham Woodhams, Paul Harker, Graham Tolhurst, Pete & Sue Coe, Ian & Maxine Davies, Peter & Joyce Lightwing, Ian Morley, Peter Lord, Jack Atkinson, Phil & Carole Heaton, Jackie & Graham Watson, Rhett Krause,James Naish, Robert Adair, Jamie Rose, Ron Day, Jeff & Liz Lawson, Snark, Jenny Brooker & Shaun Owen, Sullivans Sword, John & Lorraine Atkinson, The Sword Dance Union, John Bruce,       the Wilsons, John & Christine Morley, Tim Reeves, June Rolph, Trish Bater, Keith & Carole Thompson, Vin & Pat Garbutt, Keith & Jane Jackson, Vince & Sue Rutland, Keith Reeves, Wilf Norman, Ken & Beryl Croft, Ken & Christine Foster, Ken Allan, Kevin & Karel Holland, Kevin & Leslie Mayes, Kevin Yeomans, Mark & Heather Sowerby, Martin & Norma Carthy, Martin & Tony Smith, Martin Holland & Linda Kett, Mike & Lillian Smith, Mr & Mrs David MacMillan, Mrs Ida Calvert, Neil & Glenys Crampton.

Fund raising, sponsorship and appeals to various organisations, including North Yorkshire County Council and various Charitable Trusts, raised more than £230,000, bringing the whole project in excess of £450,000.

Throughout the development, sustainability was a priority with the provision of solar panels and underfloor heating.  New boundary fences, with some 250 tree whips were planted to create wild life corridors.

The Opening of the Hut

The official opening ceremony , hosted by Mr Mark Sowerby, took place on 23 September 2017, after almost three years of effort.  The Long Sword Cultural Heritage Centre was completed in May 2018, thanks to a grant from the LEADER Fund.

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled the work to proceed on the living War Memorial Twelve Oak Trees Project.  Village school children planted twelve new English oaks around the playing fields and twelve statues in corten steel were installed next to the new oak trees.   The local, circular walk which runs alongside the Hut was renamed the Centenary Walk by the Bishop of Whitby on 7 July 2018.

Thanks to Molson Coors, the access road to the site was completely upgraded and resurfaced in September 2017.  This, together with the installation of a new cattle grid and pedestrian access, means that the Hut is accessible to all, including wheelchair users.

The Future

To safeguard the playing fields for future generations, the CIO has entered in to an agreement with Fields in Trust (formerly the National Playing Fields Association).  Dedicated as public playing fields, they are now known as Goathland Centenary Cricket Field and Goathland Centenary Playing Field in memory of The Great War.

Responsibility for the Hut is vested with the trustees, with day-to-day oversight from a management committee, against a set of agreed guidelines.