THINGS are moving ahead at a major Hambleton venue now in the hands of a newly-formed charity.

New staff are being recruited, a new logo and website are being launched and a new audience development strategy is being developed for the Forum in Northallerton.

A gala opening is also being planned for April 13 to showcase to the public all the activities available at the centre on Bullamoor Road.

Previously run by the district council, the Forum was taken over by a company made up of local people last year and has now become a registered charity.

Since then the trustees have been consolidating and keeping the centre operating over the winter months, but behind the scenes they have been working on the new developments.

General manager Robbie Swale said: “It’s a really exciting time for us.

“Our new logo will be out and about from now on, our new website is coming soon, and the new staff roles in particular will make a big difference to the way we operate.”

The Forum is currently looking for two “facilities assistants” - who will help keep the building in working order, opening and closing the building – and a duty manager.

The centre’s mall staff team are supported by a pool of about 80 volunteers and efforts are also being made to swell their numbers.

On top of that in the next few weeks, the organisation will begin searching for new members to join its board of trustees, to help in planning for the next few years of developments.

Thirsk-based marketing consultant Jane Redfern has also been working with the team on creating a new brand, website and audience development strategy.

Mr Swale said: “We really believe that there is a demand out there for the sort of activities that are going to happen at the Forum, but we know that more people need to know about it, and keeping everyone in the loop is a key part of our plans for the venue.

“We have a new logo, which will be creeping out into the public consciousness over the next few months, ahead of our gala opening in April, which we hope will translate to people the contemporary and exciting feel that we have about the new Forum.”

More details can be found on the Forum’s temporary website at