As many are aware, we have long been hopeful of restoring and opening a heritage centre in the old bakery at the rear of Reah’s on Silver Street.
With the whole building now up for sale there is a much bigger opportunity presenting itself to the community as well as the chance to ensure the grocery, that has been a fundamental part of Masham life for over 300 years, is retained and cherished.
Older residents will remember it as Brayshaw’s and before that as Peacock & Verity. The memories of taking fancy tea in the upstairs café, the feel of the old wood counters and the smell of the many exotic teas, coffees and fresh goods that were for sale by the pound.
At the same time we look to Masham’s future; ensuring a vibrant streetscape of shops and businesses, embracing important new trends of low packaging, finding places that our young people can afford to live in the town they grew up in.
The bold plan is to purchase the whole building for the community. Establish a fully operational heritage grocer shop (think Beamish!) and Edwardian tea room in the current retail space. A local history centre to the rear (accessed from College Lane) which will be centred on the Victorian bread ovens and include space for educational activities, archiving and research, and local history displays.
Upstairs we plan to convert into much-needed affordable small rental units, ideal for young people leaving home or couple setting up together. The recent Housing Needs Survey undertaken by the local Rural Housing Enabler has provided much supporting evidence of the need we all knew was there.
A new community group is being set up to deliver this plan in partnership with local organisations including the Community Office, the Parish Council and the history groups. We are working closely with the current owners to develop these ideas, and project partners include Harrogate Borough Council, Homes England, Broadacres Housing Association, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Masham has always boldly created our own future whilst cherishing our independence – whether that be building our own gas works, generating our own electricity or providing supported accommodation for our residents at Maple Creek. Is this our next bold step and can you help?
To find out more about these exciting plans or if you have skills, experience or time to help make these plans a reality, please contact Jan Reed on 01765 689702 or firstname.lastname@example.org