Planning and building

Major developments at The Guildhall

The Guildhall is one of the city’s most prestigious and historically significant buildings.

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. We're working with our contractors to identify open days to allow access to the public during construction.

We've made a video to demonstrate the latest milestones of the project:

View previous video updates:

Redevelopment of York's Guildhall

A full restoration and redevelopment began in September 2019, ensuring The Guildhall’s historic business role in the city is brought into the 21st century.

Until now, the Guildhall had only received reactive repairs since extensive rebuilding works following the German bombing raids in 1942 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

See our Guildhall Complex site and adjacent context plan for an overview of the buildings being considered as part of this development, as well as a video showing what the building currently looks like.

Urgent action is now 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 £16.5m 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 has enabled Vinci to use the river to erect an on-site Tower Crane and provide access for deliveries, which would otherwise be impossible via road. Using the river also significantly reduces road deliveries into the heart of the city.

Key benefits of Guildhall developments

Key benefits of the developments include:

  • creating quality office spaces with the potential to create an estimated 250 jobs in high value sectors
  • offer 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.

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

Leeds City Region Growth Deal

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.

Further information about Guildhall developments

For further information, read our:

Also see

Guildhall Project

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551312