Crane to be installed on York riverfront for Guildhall renovation

The gantry on the River Ouse. Photographs: Richard McDougall

A crane is set to be installed on York’s river front in order for construction work to be carried out at the Guildhall.

Restoration works began at the historic site in September – six years after plans to transform the landmark were first put forward in 2013.

Councillors are set to hear an update on progress at the Guildhall at a meeting on Thursday.

The crane will be on the riverfront

Council leader Cllr Keith Aspden’s report for the meeting says:

  • Works to restore the historic Guildhall are now underway.

    Vinci, the contractor appointed to carry out the restoration works, are now making preparations to install a crane at their river site.

    These works mark the first major restoration to the Guildhall in 60 years and in turn, will restore the Guildhall’s role at the heart of York’s civic, social and economic life.

    Once the works are completed, it will improve access to the building, providing residents a greater opportunity to step inside and see the Guildhall.

    Crucially, it is estimated that the Guildhall project will provide a £117m boost to our local economy by providing office space to give new companies room to grow in York.

£20m upgrade

An artist’s impression of York’s Guildhall after its transformation. Image: City of York Council
The £20 million renovation will turn the historic site into office space and conference rooms – while part of the south range is also being rebuilt to provide a cafe and a new riverside restaurant will be created on the north side of the site.

The Guildhall is expected to reopen in Spring 2021.

City of York Council discovered major structural problems with the riverside tower – including subsiding and cracking.

The building will also need to be stabilised through underpinning and the main roofs will be replaced to prevent further water damage.