More than £1.1m has been granted to help transform an historic building in Guisborough, thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The project is designed to restore and adapt the Grade II-listed Guisborough Town Hall to provide a new sustainable mixed-use development.
Plans include turning Guisborough into the ‘Gateway to the North York Moors National Park’ by transforming the top two floors into visitor accommodation with a high-quality finish. The bottom floor will house tourist information, an exhibition-heritage area and retail outlets.
It is expected that 10 full-time jobs will be created.
The historic building, which forms the centrepiece of Guisborough’s Market Place, was built in 1821. It has had many uses from Magistrates Office and Petty Sessions Court to most recently being Solicitors offices and was owned by a pub company. It has stood empty since 2013 and was bought by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council for £70,000 in 2015.
The Guisborough Town Hall Gateway Project (GTHGP) was established in 2016 as a partnership between the community and the council to secure the future of the Town Hall.
Andy Murray, Chairman of GTHGP, said: “We are delighted with this major award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and it’s all systems go to bring this project to life!
“This is testament to the hard work, shared responsibility and collective ambition of all the committee members to have secured this funding to transform the town hall into an iconic building for Guisborough for the 21st century.
“We have consulted the local community since our inception and taken them along our journey and we know that there will be tremendous support for the project.
“Once restored the revamped building will contribute enormously to the economic life of the town and create employment opportunities.”
Councillor Wayne Davies, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at the council, said: “This is fantastic news for Guisborough and those who have worked so hard on this project.
“This will be a catalyst for the development of Guisborough town as a visitor destination and will bring additional footfall and overnight visitors who will spend locally in the shops and businesses. The revamped Town Hall will serve both the communities of Guisborough as well as visitors to the town and the wider region.”
David Renwick, Director of England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage at risk has been identified as a key priority for our funding, and we are incredibly pleased that money raised by National Lottery players will ensure that the Guisborough Town Hall will be given a new lease of life. We also commend the team behind the project in finding innovative ways to ensure that the Town Hall will be a commercially viable operation, a vibrant asset for the community and help boost Guisborough’s role as a gateway to the North York Moors National Park.”
The funding has been made possible by National Lottery players and the project team can now complete the technical design, appoint a contractor and market the commercial spaces alongside delivering their activity and engagement plan.