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Our History

Cononley Village Institute was opened in 1909, the product of several years of fundraising in the village. It was run by a committee with the aim providing 'improving' and 'honest recreation' for the young men of the village, free of drink or gambling. and to bring the community together, including allowing ladies to become members. It was the base for the Choral society and put on many events including plays from the Amateur Dramatic Society​.

In 1921, the ownership of the Institute was transferred to the Parish Council, and the entire building became a memorial to the men of Cononley who had died in World War One. A clock tower was added and a Roll of Honour replaced one of the windows.  The Institute continued to be managed by the existing village “society”  but under the control of the Parish Council.   But by 1960 the facilities had become outdated, and use had declined, so the Parish Council had to take over full control, becoming the Sole Trustee for the charity.

Fortunately, enough new people came forward to ensure the building survived. In 1981 the restriction on Alcohol in the building was removed and a refurbishment in 1983 and an extension in 1997 kept the building in shape.

In 2013, there was a major refurbishment and rearrangement of the building including improved disabled access, new toilet facilities, an acoustic ceiling for the hall, a larger back room and a new kitchen!  The total cost of the work was £101,000 and was carried out by Cononley-based Enoch Harrison & Son Ltd.  A third of the £101,000 was raised by fundraising events in the village, with the remainder coming from a range of grants.  Since then refurbishments and developments have continued, including additional cupboards, audio and projection facilities, new chairs, replacement floors, repairs to the clock tower and the creation of additional storage space al from the Institute’s funds.

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