Malton used to be a good place to bring shoppers. Coaches passing by the town would stop in Malton to give visitors a chance to stretch their legs and do some shopping in a busy country market town before resuming their journey. Then the coaches stopped calling and it seemed the town had lost its attraction.


Much has been done recently to change this perception. Ryedale District Council managed to get hold of funds from Yorkshire Forward, and this has been used to restore part of the Market Place Area – notably the paving of the Shambles, which is now much improved.


Efforts have been made to raise Malton’s profile. This is the third year the FitzWilliam Estate have produced a food festival. They took this over from Castle Howard, and it is now an annual event. This year about 10,000 people turned up and next year’s event will be bigger still.


The Estate has also made parking in Market Place free for two hours. This has done much to encourage people to use our local shops. They have also got involved in other initiatives designed to cleanse and improve the town, including the restoration of the Talbot Hotel, and work on York House.


The Town Council has worked to ensure that the town is kept clean by the responsible authorities and has arranged for hanging baskets in the town centre.


Local businesses and residents have got together to form an events group called “We Love Malton”. This is now responsible for putting up the Christmas lights for both Malton and Norton, including the switch-on ceremonies. In previous years they put on a Motor Show which was very popular.


One  of Malton’s hidden attractions is its Roman origin. The outlines of part of the Roman Fort are still visible on Orchard Fields, and Malton Museum is mainly devoted to the Roman period. It is unfortunate that the Museum is soon to close, as this will not help the town. However, this year We Love Malton has produced its second Roman Festival. This has been a great success and attracted a large crowd of visitors. There will be a bigger and better show next year.


Last year “We Love Malton” produced its first Literature Festival. The second Malton Literature and Writers’ Festival will take place in October. This will be a bigger and better event than last year. As it is understood York is not hosting a literature festival this year, there is a clear opportunity to attract large numbers of visitors from outside the district.


The Milton Rooms is under new management. For years this building has been neglected and fallen into a state of internal decorative disrepair. Much has been done to reverse this. Ryedale District Council has completely overhauled the structure and exterior, and the Management Committee has worked hard on making the interior suitable for modern entertainment. It turns out that the main hall has excellent acoustic qualities, and has one of the biggest sprung dance floors in the North of England. This last year has been the first time for more than fifty years that Malton has seen national stars like Barry Cryer sensationally appear on the stage of the main hall – and that is to say nothing of the spectacular performance in June of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream – professionally produced using professionals, amateurs and local people in the same show!


Malton is affected by the Recession – like everywhere else – but is not in decline. It is generally an attractive, busy market town with many good shops, and a community which is keen to promote it. The town and its businesses deserve full public support.



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