THE first phase of a major regeneration development in Northallerton has been completed.

The much-anticipated Treadmills development, led by Castlehouse Construction, has seen the first retail units handed over to Lidl and Iceland, with another available for occupation.

The transformation of the former Northallerton Prison site is driven by the Central Northallerton Development Company Ltd – a joint venture between Hambleton District Council and developer Wykeland Group.

It is hoped the £17m scheme will cement a new future for the old Grade II listed prison buildings, with mixed-use retail, leisure and office space.

Despite a challenging climate with the pandemic, Castlehouse carried out all construction work on site with extensive and stringent safety measures in place, complying fully with Government and construction industry guidelines introduced in response to Covid-19.

Castlehouse is currently on site fitting out the Lidl store, closely followed by Iceland, with both stores earmarked to open their doors to the public this autumn.

The northern part of the site, including five Grade II listed Victorian former prison blocks, forms part of the second phase of the development which is well underway by a local contractor and involves external restoration and extensive internal redevelopment of four of the five buildings. The final building, the tenement block, will be converted at a later stage.

The former main cell block and the female wing will house the 7,000 square foot Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) Northallerton, a new community of tech specialists, building on the Hull-based C4DI digital hub’s success.

Richard Lumley, chairman of Castlehouse Construction said: “We are delighted to hand over phase one of this exciting regeneration development in spite of a challenging backdrop. We are extremely proud of the team who worked diligently to deliver a key part of the scheme, providing the Hambleton and wider community with some great retail names as part of the development’s strategic vision.”

Leader of Hambleton District Council, Councillor Mark Robson said: “This handover marks the first step in Hambleton’s ambitious plans to regenerate the former prison site – having Lidl and Iceland opening up before Christmas will be a huge economic boost for Northallerton's High Street and contribute to our vision to make our market towns vibrant."

“In 2021 we will see C4Di open in one of the listed buildings on the site and that will bring in businesses to the town. It is a very exciting time for Northallerton and Hambleton district.”

Jonathan Stubbs, Wykeland development director and a CNDCL board member, said: “The completion of construction on phase one of Treadmills is a major milestone in the delivery of this exciting regeneration project and we’re now looking forward to the opening of the Lidl and Iceland stores.

“This is one of many developments we are moving forward across the region to deliver new investment and jobs that are vital to the post-Covid economic recovery.”