Demolition of parts of Northallerton’s now defunct prison has begun.
Contractors have moved into the 3.4 acre site in the centre of the town to begin stripping out the old buildings. Five listed buildings will be retained – including the female wing built in the 1800s and the old governor’s house.
Work will initially start on asbestos removal – along with the salvage of artefacts being retained by Hambleton District Council for inclusion in the new developments.
Buckler Demolition of Teesside expect the work to take around six months.
“Demolition is the start of an ambitious project for Hambleton – re-developing this site is a unique opportunity to look at what Northallerton and the district as a whole needs from the town,” said Council Leader, Councillor Mark Robson.
“Not only do we have listed buildings to redevelop but we have a massive area ripe for new projects – and we are stripping out some artefacts to re-use in these new parts. That includes ironwork which we hope will create a distinctive piece of artwork for the new town square and the old sandstone floors in the main cellblock.”
He said the council is closer to appointing a partner to work with it to deliver the proposed redevelopment of the former prison. Two companies are now bidding to join the council in forming a Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV) for the duration of the project – the council committing assets to the scheme and the partner committing cash, assets and services.
Any returns from the scheme would then be shared.
It is hoped that a mix of retail, leisure, housing and community use premises will be provided at the site – which was bought by the District Council from the Ministry of Justice for £1.4 million in the summer of 2015.