Part of Guildhall complex demolished as redevelopment continues apace

The old North Range has been demolished. Photographs: City of York Council
4 May 2020 @ 1.22 pm
| Changing city

The redevelopment of York’s historic Guildhall is progressing despite the recent challenges.

The old north annexe has now been demolished.

Dating from the last century, it was always earmarked for removal as part of the scheme as, according to planning documents, “north annexe is deemed to be of relativity low significance, it is unlisted and in overall terms detracts from the historic setting of the Victorian Municipal Offices and the Guildhall”.

Debris from the site has been removed using barges to Queens Staith. All demolition works on site are soon to be completed and reconstruction of a new North range will shortly follow, which includes the supporting infrastructure for the North range tower.

The site is due to reopen to the public in Spring 2021.

Almost on schedule

The large crane used as part of the redevelopment works

Council leader Keith Aspden said the work would help York “bounce back from the crisis”. He said:

  • It is essential for York’s recovery that we continue to work together to deliver key regeneration projects like the Guildhall and York Central.

    These projects are central to our ambitions for inclusive growth, new public spaces and better housing, which are now more important than ever.

Executive member for finance and performance Cllr Nigel Ayre said: “The project has managed to progress whilst implementing government social distancing restrictions, and the team has achieved 90% of all scheduled work on site in the last month.

“This project is historically important for the city and one which will have a lasting impact on our city centre economy.

The Guildhall restoration began in September 2019, initiating vital restoration and redevelopment of the Grade I, II* and II listed buildings, to offer office space, community use and a riverside restaurant.

Key benefits of the development include:

  • Bringing the Guildhall’s historic business role into the 21st century– creating quality office spaces with the potential to create an estimated 250 jobs in high value sectors.
  • Give the public improved access to the nationally significant heritage – through community use, events and civic meetings.
  • Maximising the economic impact of the Guildhall – creating £848k per annum income following completion and an estimated £117m GVA boost to the city’s economy over the next five years. In addition, the construction phase would contribute 50 additional jobs and £7m GVA in total.
  • Using 21st century green technology – heating the building efficiently, reducing costs and the environmental impact of the development.

The project received £2.347 million from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

The site is due to reopen to the public in Spring 2021.

Find out more about the project at