York & North Yorkshire

York Guildhall: £20m work needed on buildings

York's Guildhall Image copyright City of York Council
Image caption The Guildhall alongside the River Ouse was originally built in the 15th Century

Millions of pounds will have to be spent on a historically important building after it was found to be subsiding and cracking.

The Guildhall in York, by the River Ouse, is a Grade I and Grade II listed building with parts dating from 1445.

A major overhaul for the building planned in 2017/18 was halted as York City Council pondered the cost.

But now the authority says "urgent action" is needed after detailed surveys found "active movement".

Works to stabilise it and create office spaces, a cafe, restaurant and public spaces would be around £20m

Once work is completed, the council says the site could generate income of about £848,000 each year for the authority.

A similar scheme envisaged two years ago costing £12.7m was stopped, but now council officials say detailed investigations have uncovered problems "that cannot be ignored".

Officers have recommended the council provides an additional £7.3m for the works.

Image copyright City of York Council
Image caption Councillors will be asked to approve funding for the scheme on 14 February

The city council said: "Surveys have revealed significant structural problems with the tower on the north side of the site, which is currently subsiding and cracking.

"Furthermore, the main roofs are also in need of replacement to prevent further water ingress.

"Urgent action is needed to address these problems."

Image copyright City of York Council
Image caption Inside the building has also suffered from deterioration over decades

Councillors will be asked to approve funding for the scheme on 14 February.

Councillor Ian Gillies, leader of City of York Council, said: "It isn't enough to simply restore the building's structure - respecting its heritage means restoring Guildhall's central role in the civic, social and business life of York."

Image copyright City of York Council
Image caption Cracks in the building have been monitored and now need "urgent action" the council says

The Guildhall was originally dates from 15th Century but was extensively rebuilt after being destroyed by fire in a World War Two air raid in 1942.

The council moved its offices out of the complex in 2013, although full council meetings are still held there.

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