A prison which was a major landmark for more than 200 years is set to be reborn after construction began on the first phase of a new £17m development.
The Central Northallerton Development Company Ltd (CNDCL), a joint venture between Hull-based property developer Wykeland Group and Hambleton District Council, is driving forward the Treadmills project at the former Northallerton Prison.
Work has begun on the scheme, which will see the prison re-invented as a new retail, leisure and business destination. It has been empty since the Ministry of Justice decided to close the site in 2013.
Castlehouse Construction has been appointed to deliver the first phase of the scheme, which is focused on the development of retail units and a car park on the south side of the former prison site.
The initial phase will feature the construction of stores to be occupied by fast-growing supermarket group Lidl and Iceland, the UK’s leading specialist frozen food retailer, as well as a smaller third retail unit.
Lidl is the retail anchor for Treadmills and will take a 21,000 sq ft unit, while Iceland will occupy a unit with 6,000 sq ft on the ground floor and a 2,300 sq ft mezzanine level.
A further retail unit of 1,330 sq ft is also available to complete the southern part of the development, which will also feature parking for around 130 vehicles.
Work in the early weeks will include demolition of the existing gatehouse and the creating of a new access to the site from Crosby Road.
Construction of the shops and car park is expected to be completed by early summer next year, ready for the Lidl and Iceland stores to open by summer 2020 following fit-out.
Dominic Gibbons, managing director of Hull-based Wykeland and a CNDCL board member, said: “The start of construction of the first phase of Treadmills is clearly a major milestone towards the delivery of the development partners’ exciting vision.
“Northallerton Prison was a landmark in Northallerton for more than 200 years and forms a major part of the town’s history.
“Now, we are creating an exciting new future for this strategic site, with major investment, facilities and jobs to support Northallerton’s economic growth and prosperity, while respecting and preserving the key heritage of the site.”
Councillor Mark Robson, leader of Hambleton District Council, said: “We are delighted that construction has started on what is going to be an exciting project for central Northallerton and we look forward to new businesses opening and successfully trading in the town.”
Five grade two listed former prison buildings at the northern end of the site will be restored, refurbished and brought back into use as part of the next phase of the development, with work expected to start early next year.
Occupiers of the renovated prison buildings will include digital technology companies, specialists and freelancers in a community managed by the Hull-based Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI).
Subsequent phases will feature a four-screen cinema, to be operated by prestige cinema group Everyman, as well as restaurants and residential, arranged around a new showpiece civic square.
When complete, around 250 permanent jobs will be created within the Treadmills scheme, as well as 180 jobs during construction.
Hambleton Council has also drawn up detailed plans to ensure Northallerton’s High Street and the Treadmills development are strongly connected.