OVER 200 workshops, performances, events and exhibitions are being held in a North |Yorkshire centre dedicated to bringing the latest arts and crafts to rural areas.

Thirsk Rural Arts Centre was this year awarded a £130,000 grant by Arts Council England to boost its work and renovate it's Grade 11 listed headquarters in the town's former courthouse.

As part of their work an extensive new programme of events has been launched for Spring 2020 from January. It includes new courses including a free 10 week creative skills course for unemployed people as well as several multi week courses in oil painting, glass-work and drawing for beginners.

Another addition to the programme is Silver Screen Saturdays, an afternoon cinema club screening classic films each month including Brief Encounter on February 8, and Singin’ in the Rain on April 25.

Collaborations with local companies including White Rose Books and the Zillah Bell art Gallery widens the programme on offer to literary and visual arts events, including Exhibition on Screen’s Leonardo: The Works, which gives audiences the chance experience every single da Vinci painting in Ultra HD quality for the first time ever.

In February Love and Spice by Balbir Singh Dance Company is being staged which will bring Kathak dance, music and live cooking to the Thirsk centre.

Rural Arts Director Max May said: "I’m so excited about and proud of our new season. It’s my second as Director and our first in a new decade, and it really makes a statement about who we are and what we can achieve. It’s ambitious, inclusive, high-quality, and right on people’s doorsteps."

The new year will also see work starting on refurbishing the rural arts building which will improve and guarantee the future of the centre and increase the type of work they can display and stage.

For information about what is happening at the centre and to book events go to www.ruralarts.org or call 01845 526536 for more information.