Work begins to restore York's historic Guildhall

The project has received £2.3 million from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal and will transform the historic site into office space and conference rooms.

A £20 million renovation project to transform York's Guildhall into modern offices, conference space and a cafe is underway.

The project, which is being led by York Council, has received a £2.3 million investment from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

York Council, which is leading the project, expects it to add a £117 million boost to the city's economy over five years once work has completed in 2021 and create an estimated 250 new jobs. 

Roger Marsh, Chairman of the LEP, said: “The Guildhall is one of York’s most fascinating historical buildings which was once at the heart of the city’s bustling business community.

“The ambitious restoration plans put forward will ensure the Guildhall is fit for modern-day business needs and allow it, once again, to be at the heart of enterprise by catering to the needs of those entrepreneurs and SMEs that are driving forward the local economy.

“This is yet another example of how the Combined Authority and the LEP are working together with our partner councils to ensure Growth Deal investment is targeted at the projects that will make a real difference to people living, working and studying in the Leeds City Region.”

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance at York Council, said: “This is the first significant investment in our Guildhall for 60 years and this extensive restoration will protect the buildings for another 50-60 years.

“However, it isn’t enough to just restore and secure the building – respecting its heritage means reviving Guildhall’s place in York.

“This will be done by opening up this important building to more of York residents than ever before. It is an exciting step forward for the city.”