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The radical plan to redevelop the Guildhall will begin in January after City of York Council appointed a contractor.

The council has appointed Interserve to carry out the £9m transformation of the historic Guildhall into a “world-class civic and business venue”.

City leaders say Interserve demonstrated the expertise “to deliver a high quality and best value remodelling of the listed building complex” during a tendering process which drew seven applications.

The construction company has worked on other significant listed buildings including Kirkgate Market in Leeds, Durham Castle and the former Co-op store in Newcastle.

Creative renewal

The Guildhall is a Grade I listed building dating from the 15th century. Photograph: YorkMix

The council’s Executive approved plans to redevelop the Guildhall complex in March 2017. The redevelopment is designed to make the most of the listed buildings, allowing riverside access to the complex which will host public and civic events, a restaurant and state-of-the-art business centre.

Councillors say Interserve’s bid showed strong proposals for creating the river access, and that the company understood how to overcome the significant challenges of carrying out construction on the site.

Leader of City of York Council Cllr David Carr said:

This remodelling will make sure that this historic building plays an important role in York’s future.

It will retain Guildhall’s traditional public and civic functions while providing a world-class business venue in the heart of York.

This is a creative way to protect and renew Guildhall while giving more people even better access to its stunning features.

‘Strong pedigree’

The council chamber at York Guildhall. Photograph: City of York Council

Interserve, which has gross revenues of £3.7 billion and a global workforce of 80K, also built the £16m biology building at the University of York.

Director of Interserve John Gittins said his company had the know-how in dealing with buildings as iconic as the Grade I listed Guildhall, which dates back to the 15th century.

“We have a strong pedigree in delivering complex heritage projects and during the construction phase we will adopt a considerate approach as always to minimise disruption and keep all stakeholders updated in respect of project progress.

An artist’s impression of the yard at the transformed Guildhall

“Interserve will also develop a bespoke community investment plan to maximise local supply chain involvement and generate as many employment and training opportunities as possible to deliver real social value for York and the surrounding area.”

The appointment means that work should begin in January 2018, after contracts are signed and exploratory works are completed.

Full council meetings will be hosted at The Citadel on Gillygate, the former home of York’s Salvation Army now owned by York City Church, during the construction period.