New dancefloor installed at Hawes community venue

Carl Lis with Janet Seymour and her Saturday morning ballet pupils in The NASH.

A new dancefloor has been installed in The NASH studio venue in Hawes.

The floor was part-funded with money from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF).

Children at a thriving Saturday morning ballet school and adults at a midweek dance fitness class can now take their practice to the next level: working on a sprung wooden floor that absorbs shock and enhances performance.

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The NASH – at first a National School, then a Church room – was restored and refurbished in 2014.

It was re-opened as a space for performing arts, classes and other events.

The SDF awarded £6,996 to the National School Hawes Community Interest Company to part-fund its ‘Springboard’ project, with support also coming from the Big Lottery Fund.

The chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Carl Lis, dropped in to see the floor being used by one of the two Saturday morning ballet classes run by the Janet Seymour School of Theatre Dance.

He said:  “It was great to see the children dancing – in a space which was first used by the children of Hawes more than 150 years ago.

“The wooden dance floor makes The NASH an attractive venue for community meetings, for performances, and for exercise or dance classes.

“Safeguarding existing community or recreational places is one of the objectives in the National Park Management Plan, and the Authority is keen to play its part in helping to achieve that.”

Emily Rowe Rawlence, one of the directors of the National School Hawes Community Interest Company, said:  “It’s been fantastic to receive support from the Sustainable Development Fund.  The application process was straightforward and the advice offered was really helpful.

“When we re-opened the venue, we weren’t entirely sure which direction it would go in. Very quickly dance and exercise classes took off, and the specialist floor has enabled this to develop further.

“At the moment we’ve got around 20 boys and girls learning to dance each week.  We hope that number will increase.

“The NASH has also hosted all kinds of events, from touring theatre productions to yoga workshops to local junior football club meetings, and the new floor makes the venue more attractive for everyone.

“The floor was installed by Harlequin, a British company which works all over the world.

“It’s amazing to think that our little rural venue in Hawes has a floor of the standard that is seen in major urban venues and dance studios.”

The SDF supports small-scale projects that result in positive benefits for the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The fund is open to individuals, community groups, businesses and the voluntary sector.

For more information and to download the application form and guidance notes, please visit