Moves to buy the defunct Northallerton prison and incorporate it into ambitious development plans for the centre of the town have been approved.
Members of Hambleton District Council’s Cabinet gave the go ahead for officers to start negotiations to buy the building from the Ministry of Justice.
It will feature in a major new ‘masterplan’ for the market town – which could see new homes, leisure, heritage and education provision built.
The scheme also takes in the empty Rural Payment Agency offices and Crosby Road car park.
The Ministry of Justice is looking to dispose of the prison by March next year – but is holding off putting it on the open market to allow time for negotiations with the district council.
Deputy leader of the council, Coun Peter R Wilkinson, said:
“Buying the prison will be an exciting new initiative for the council – and one which will add a new dimension to our masterplan for the centre of the town.”
A purchase price should be known by the end of the year – and it part of the authority’s £5million Economic Development Strategy for the district.