Planning and building

Major developments at The Guildhall

The complex contains a collection of Grade I, II* and II listed buildings built around the 15th century hall and riverside meeting room.

It's been a seat of civic governance in York since the 1200s, and has previously hosted:

  • council meetings
  • mayoral ceremonies

The site is currently closed for restoration and redevelopment. The works began in September 2019 and the restoration is expected to be completed in late 2021.

A series of videos have been created to demonstrate the latest milestones of the project:

View previous video updates:

Redevelopment of York's Guildhall

Restoration and redevelopment began in September 2019 and is expected to be completed in late 2021.

Until now, the Guildhall had only received reactive repairs since extensive rebuilding works following bombing raids in 1942 that caused serious damage to the buildings.

Incorporating modern elements around the historic core of the Guildhall, the redevelopment will secure the long-term future of the site, offering:

  • high quality office space
  • spaces for community use
  • a café
  • a new riverside restaurant
  • better access for local residents

Urgent action is being taken to address significant structural problems with the riverside tower, including subsiding and cracking. The main roofs will also be replaced to prevent further water damage.Urgent action is being taken to address significant structural problems with the riverside tower, including subsiding and cracking. The main roofs will also be replaced to prevent further water damage.

The £21.7m construction will see the building:

  • stabilised through major underpinning
  • protected from water damage
  • given a new lease of life

Due to the Guildhall's central riverside location, the Canal & River Trust enabled contractors Vinci to use the river to erect an on-site Tower Crane and provide access for deliveries, which would otherwise be impossible via road. Use of the river has also reduced road deliveries into the heart of the city.

In August 2021, The University of York signed a 15 year lease of the Guildhall, which will bring the historic building back to the forefront of the city’s social, business and civic life.

The Future of the Guildhall

The building will be leased to York Science Park (YSPL), a subsidiary of the University of York. York Science Park offer support for entrepreneurs and start-ups looking to grow.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed how we live and work. In response to these changes, the Guildhall will provide a flexible and collaborative workspace for local businesses.

The newly refurbished Guildhall will provide greater access to local residents, through the creation of a new restaurant and public space, and members of the public will be invited to a series of scheduled events, offering an opportunity to learn more about the history of the building. More details will be announced over the upcoming months as the restoration works near completion.

The Guildhall project will deliver a number of key benefits

  • Creating quality office spaces with the potential to create an estimated 250 jobs in high value sectors
  • Offering the public improved access to the nationally significant building through community events and civic meetings
  • Maximising the economic impact of the Guildhall by creating an £848k annual income and an additional estimated £117m boost to the city’s economy over the next 5 years
  • Contributing 50 additional jobs and £7m GVA (gross value added) during the construction phase
  • Using green technology to heat the building, reducing costs and environmental impact
  • Both the FULM (Full major) and LBC (Listed building consent) planning applications were approved in February 2017, followed by approval from Executive in March 2017 which took us to the delivery phase of the project

Both the FULM (Full major) and LBC (Listed building consent) planning applications were approved in February 2017, followed by approval from Executive in March 2017 which took us to the delivery phase of the project.

Funding of the project

Funding for the £21.7m restoration and redevelopment work was provided by York City Council, the York and North Yorkshire LEP and West Yorkshire Combined Authority through respective HMG Growth Deal contributions and the Getting Building Fund.

The project received £2.34 million from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal.

This represents a £1 billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region. Office fit-out at the Guildhall is supported by investment from the Government’s Getting Building Fund, allocated by York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

A report taken to Executive in February 2019 approved the delivery of the scheme's budget.

Further information about Guildhall developments

For further information, read our:

Also see

Guildhall Project

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551312