The completion date for the restoration of York’s historic Guildhall has again been pushed back, council documents reveal.
Work on the £20 million project began in autumn 2019, but progress has been hit by repeated delays.
It was hoped that works on the Grade I, II* and II listed buildings could be completed last year, but the finish date has now slipped back further into early March 2022.
The Guildhall, which dates back to the 15th century, was the home of City of York Council until 2013, when the local authority moved to West Offices.
Council documents reveal that the cost of the project has risen due to the delay.
Setbacks so far have been caused by everything from high river levels and a shortage of some materials resulting from the pandemic, to the discovery of historic human remains.
A report set to go before senior councillors next week states: “The most recent delay has been in securing the new electricity supply, which has only just been made available as a result of a series of issues as follows; firstly in securing the necessary wayleave agreements from adjoining owners, and then with the meter installation.
“The project team continues to work closely with the contractor and the university to manage and mitigate the impact of these delays.”
The costs associated with the additional works “to complete the project to the required standard are proportionate”, the report adds.
A full report outlining the additional costs is now being drawn up.
Focused on completion
The University of York has already signed a 15-year lease for the building, and plans to turn it into a hub for entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and events run by York Science Park.
The site will also feature a cafe, separate riverside restaurant, offices, meeting rooms and conference space.
The report adds: “At this time the project team remains focused on completing the project, which is progressing well towards completion.
“Plans are being put in place to provide opportunities for the building to be opened up on completion, so that the extent of the transformation and the value of the investment can be fully appreciated.”
The Guildhall, the venue for defining moments in the city’s history, had only been subject to small since bombing raids in 1942 that caused serious damage to the buildings.