The first phase of the £17 million Treadmills regeneration project has opened to the public in Northallerton.
Supermarket group Lidl, the retail anchor for the scheme, and frozen food specialist Iceland have both opened, with a third 1,300 sq ft store unit available for occupation.
The much-anticipated project is being driven forward by Central Northallerton Development Company Ltd (CNDCL), a joint venture between Hambleton District Council and leading Yorkshire developer Wykeland Group.
It is creating a new future as a mixed-use destination incorporating retail, leisure and co-working office space for the formerly derelict site of Northallerton Prison, which closed in 2013 after housing inmates for 230 years.
The second phase of the scheme, in the central part of the site, is well advanced and involves extensive redevelopment of the five Grade II listed prison buildings.
The former main cell block and the female wing will house the 7,000 sq ft Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) Northallerton, creating a new community of tech specialists.
Dominic Gibbons, Wykeland Managing Director and a CNDCL Board member, said: “We’re excited to see this major regeneration project bring this landmark site back to life.
“The opening of the first phase of the development, focused on retail, adds greatly to the choice available to shoppers in Northallerton and there is much more to come as we transform the former prison buildings.”
Jonathan Stubbs, Wykeland Developer Director and CNDCL Board member, added: “The next phase is due for completion in March, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. This will blend old and new – the conservation and restoration of historic buildings and the creation of hi-tech jobs with innovative digital businesses.
“These new facilities and the jobs they will create have never been more important and will be crucial to the economic development and future prosperity of Northallerton.”
C4DI Northallerton will have a specific focus on agritech – the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture and food processing – to help these sectors to develop and grow.
The hospital block is being renovated to create 1,500 sq ft of offices and meeting rooms with additional breakout areas on the upper floor. The ground floor will offer up to 4,500 sq ft of space for a bar/restaurant to be developed with a selected end user.
The 3,500 sq ft tenement block is also being converted, for potential use as a digital education facility, complementing C4DI, as well as a retail unit.
In addition, the former Governor’s House is being remodelled to accommodate a café operator on the ground floor and mixed uses on the upper floor, creating a total of 3,500 sq ft of new space.
The extensive works involve the retention of as many of original prison features, while creating high-quality, modern office and leisure environments.
Yorkshire contractors are playing a leading role in the project. Leeds-based Castlehouse Construction has built phase one, while the phase two works are due to be completed by Northallerton-based Moody Construction by mid-February.
Hull-based office design company Chameleon Business Interiors is now also on site delivering the interior design, fit-out and furnishing services, ready for occupiers to move into the former prison buildings by the end of March.
The Treadmills project is being supported by the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which has secured £1.8 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund for the redevelopment and fit-out of the buildings that will be occupied by C4DI and other office users.