City of York Council has appointed Interserve to carry out the £9m transformation of the iconic Guildhall into a world-class civic and business venue.
Under the current plan Council officials will attempt to directly manage the taxpayer funded facility with £12.4 million at risk. Much of the work is being funded by borrowing. At best, the business plan would see a minimal forecast surplus of £1000 a year on the investment. This would be after covering interest charges on the planned £8.7 million of extra borrowing needed to fund the project.
Earlier in the year the Council announced that it had failed to find either public or private sector partners willing to share the financial risks on the project.
Today the Council says, “Interserve demonstrated that it has the expertise to deliver a high quality and best value remodelling of the listed building complex during a highly competitive tendering process. The construction company has worked on other significant listed buildings including Kirkgate Market in Leeds, Durham Castle and the former Co-op store in Newcastle”.
The council’s Executive approved plans to redevelop the Guildhall complex in March 2017. The redevelopment will “make the most” of the listed buildings, allowing riverside access to the complex which will host public and civic events, a restaurant and state-of-the-art business centre.
Interserve’s bid showed strong proposals for creating the river access, and that the company understood how to overcome the significant challenges of carrying out construction on the site.
The appointment means that work should begin in January 2018, after contracts are signed and exploratory works are completed.
City of York Council’s Full Council meetings will be hosted at The Citadel, the former home of York’s Salvation Army now owned by York City Church, during the construction period.