York’s historic Guildhall completion date delayed after setbacks

THE completion of work on York’s historic Guildhall has been delayed.

Work on the scheme to restore and redevelop the site has continued during lockdown – and was due to be finished by spring 2021.

But the project has been hit by setbacks, including high river levels in January and February which stopped construction barges getting to the site and the archaeological discovery of a burial ground in June.

It is now expected to be complete in July 2021.

“It’s classified as nearing completion although there’s some way to go yet,” said Tracey Carter, an assistant director at City of York Council.

She said talks are taking place with an organisation that wants to take over office space at the venue – but the hunt for a business to take over the riverside restaurant was paused during lockdown.

“If anything it’s likely that the requirements for flexible business space will actually assist with the Covid economic recovery and will become even more crucial for the city,” Ms Carter told councillors.

She added: “The restaurant space is I think the element of this scheme which is most impacted by Covid – the hospitality industry has already been quite badly hit in the lockdown and is one of those sectors which is facing some significant challenges.

“We paused the marketing of the restaurant unit during lockdown. That is now back out to market.

“The view of our agent is that although in the short term this might be quite challenging, in the medium to long term this remains a prime riverside opportunity.”

The council is responsible for delivering the £20m project – and she said the authority has a responsibility as stewards of a historic building.

There would have been significant costs and possible damage to the building if construction work had stopped midway through the scheme.

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