History of the Trust

The Whitby Area Development Trust grew out of a number of projects and organisations involved in action to support a sustainable community in the face of major change.

Originally known as Whitby Network, the charity has been serving the local community since 1984, starting with an Advice Centre and evolving to meet a wide range of community needs.

In 1998 it purchased the redundant Coliseum cinema building, centrally situated in Whitby adjacent to the bus and rail stations. The Coliseum was converted to a community centre, incorporating self-contained residential accommodation for adults with learning difficulties. The building offers high quality office space, meeting rooms, a community café and 90-seat theatre.

In 2011 Whitby Network merged with the Whitby Area Community Development Trust (founded in 2007) to widen both its geographic area, and also to reflect a growing emphasis on environmental and sustainability issues.

Further developments within the Coliseum Centre in 2014-15 provided additional supported accommodation (The Crow’s Nest). The Trust also signed a 25-year lease on a derelict walled garden just outside Whitby with the view to developing outdoor gardening activities and training for disadvantaged people.