Demolition on Northallerton’s defunct prison is well underway – with many of the former buildings now reduced to rubble.

Contractors are busy stripping out the inside of the main cell block before that also succumbs to the bulldozers.

Hambleton District Council is salvaging keys items from inside the block – including cell doors, gates, iron brackets and sandstone flooring.

The authority bought the old prison last year – and is now working on appointing a developer to join with them to rejuvenate the site. It is expected to include retail, leisure and community use premises. Five listed buildings will be retained including the female wing built in the 1800s and the governor’s house

“Demolition is just the start of our ambitious project – a unique opportunity to look at what Northallerton and the district as a whole needs from the town,” said Council Leader, Councillor Mark Robson.

“We have a massive area ripe for new projects – and it is clear just how large that site is now many of the buildings are down.”

The District Council bought the 3.4 acre site from the Ministry of Justice for £1.4 million in the summer of 2015. Buckler Demolition of Teesside expects their work to take around six months.