Hambleton District Council Chief Executive Justin Ives, and Wykeland Group Managing Director, Dominic Gibbons.
Hambleton District Council Chief Executive Justin Ives, and Wykeland Group Managing Director, Dominic Gibbons.
Nick Hill

Formal agreement sealed for 'once-in-a-lifetime' redevelopment of Northallerton prison

The redevelopment of a former prison in Northalleton is set to go-ahead after it was announced that a formal legal agreement has been sealed.

Hambleton District Council and Hull-based regeneration company Wykeland Group have formed the Central Northallerton Development Company, a joint venture to drive forward the regeneration in the North Yorkshire town.

Dating back to 1780, Northallerton Prison housed prisoners for more than 230 years before closing in 2013. Hambleton District Council bought the site from the Ministry of Justice in 2014 to secure a key strategic site close to the town centre for development.

The new joint venture aims to transform the 3.5-acre site, with proposals to include new retail units, managed workspaces, a heritage centre, apartments, restaurants, a cinema and an area for public events.

In preparation for the development, a number of buildings have been demolished and archaeological works have been carried out, during which foundations for the world’s largest treadmill were unearthed.

Five listed buildings have been retained, including the former female prison wing and the Governor’s House. These buildings will be sympathetically refurbished and incorporated into the new development.

Dominic Gibbons, Wykeland managing director, said: “With the formal structures for the development company in place we can now move forward together to deliver this very exciting scheme.

“We’re really looking forward to working closely with the local authority’s members and officers to bring an important part of Northallerton’s heritage back to life and deliver significant economic and community benefits to the town and its people.

“We’re currently working up detailed plans for a planning application to be submitted in the first quarter of 2018. Although the development is in its early stages, we have had significant interest from commercial operators who recognise the potential of this project.”

Justin Ives, Hambleton District Council chief executive, added: “This site gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only support and strengthen the retail and leisure economy of Northallerton, but to benefit the whole of the Hambleton district.

“Wykeland shares our goals to create a high-quality scheme which will benefit the whole community, so we are very much looking forward to working with them.”

DWF acted for Wykeland on the legal agreement and Trowers Hamlin advised Hambleton District Council.

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