Northallerton Prison closed in 2013 after more than 230 years of operation. Hambleton District Council bought it from the Ministry of Justice in 2014 and signed a development agreement with Hull-based property developer Wykeland to deliver what is now called the Treadmills scheme in 2017.
The Treadmills development is being driven by Central Northallerton Development Company Ltd (CNDCL), a joint venture between Wykeland and the council.
Yorkshire-based 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 Lidl and Iceland supermarkets.
Lidl is the retail anchor for Treadmills and will take a 21,000 sq ft unit. 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 includes demolition of the existing gatehouse and the creating of a new access to the site.
Construction of the retail units and car park is expected to be completed by summer 2020.
Wykeland managing director Dominic Gibbons 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.”
Five Grade II listed former prison buildings at the northern end of the site will be restored, refurbished and brought back into use as offices as part of the next phase of the development, with work expected to start early next year.
Subsequent planned phases include a four-screen Everyman cinema, as well as restaurants and residential units arranged around a new showpiece civic square.