The future of a Hambleton attraction should be secured with a second major boost in as many months

Just weeks after stories that saw The World Of James Herriot in Thirsk become an international destination for visitors were featured in a new TV series, the Hambleton District Council revealed its intention to offer to the company that saved the museum a 30-year lease with a grain of pepper

Museum management has said that once restrictions on Covid-19 are relaxed, they expect visitors to see a surge following the success of the latest All Creatures Great And Small series, featuring actors such as Diana Rigg and Nigel Havers

The Channel 5 television series has attracted around six million viewers per week when repeat shows are factored in, and a new series has been ordered

Ian Ashton, chief executive of the attraction, said the hit TV show, alongside the continued popularity of the documentary series The Yorkshire Vet on the practice of author Herriot Alf Wight, would help shape a remarkable turnaround for the museum since his business took over his run from Hambleton District Council eight years ago

The attraction now features the fully restored 1940s Alf Wight House and Surgery, a realistic statue of the author, the car James Herriot drove and the television set where the original series was filmed, an extensive veterinary collection and a chance to find out what it was like to hide in a WWII air raid shelter

M Ashton said: “When you think about what has been developed since we took office in 2012 when it all fell apart, we now have a very successful TV series, and Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet has been a huge one. boon for us Yorkshire is now doing extremely well on TV and will continue to do so The future is bright “

M Ashton said that although the attraction was closed due to the pandemic, it was fortunate enough to receive government funding, so the company had not suffered as much as others in the vast industry. county tourist

He said: “We rely on people from all over the world, which make up around 30% of our visitors, but due to the new series All Creatures Great And Small and The Yorkshire Vet, that’s probably the number of UK visitors will increase over the next few years We are unlikely to be as dependent on the import market as in the past “

Before Hambleton’s council firm considers a proposal to extend the company’s lease on the Kirkgate attraction until 2050, Mr. Ashton said the authority couldn’t have been more supportive

A report to the firm that recommends offering M’s company Ashton’s Lease at Below Market Value describes the attraction as “a museum of international attraction, contributing significantly to the local economy”

M Ashton said extending The World of James Herriot’s lease will strengthen the attraction’s ability to raise subsidies and external funds during times of uncertainty against the security of premises for continued investment, preservation and the development of the museum in the future years

He said: “It will secure the future of James Herriot’s world I see a long term future in it. It gives security which is a good thing for the staff

“Ultimately we are a very important player for Yorkshire and in particular Thirsk and the surrounding area. Now that we have rebuilt the name and the company, we need the guarantee of a lease until 2050. am delighted, because when you run a business like this you need the security of the business itself and the people who work there “

James Herriot

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