A NEW heritage hub displaying items unearthed during the development of the former Northallerton prison has opened in the town this week.

The hub, which opened on Tuesday (May 18), is based in an empty shop close to the town hall – and during the first month will feature a pop up exhibition on the former prison.

The multimedia exhibition features artefacts from the prison site including the original prison bell and an old cell door found in the rubble during redevelopment work.

The hub will also be used as a base for community consultation, for workshops and to highlight projects being undertaken as part of wider heritage work in the town.

The six-month long project is being part funded by Hambleton District Council and through the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) which is part of a £95 million government-funded programme led by Historic England.

Northallerton was selected to be part of this programme with one element of it to develop a dynamic pop-up exhibition, which has been created with support from York Archaeological Trust.

The hub will also be used a base for community workshops and talks to involve local groups and residents in the project.

Councillor Mark Robson said: “This is a very exciting new addition to our county town.

"We hope attract to see residents and visitors coming along to learn more about the cultural and built heritage of Northallerton and to engage in a range of activities.

“Local people have been asking for an exhibition space for some time.

"The exhibitions will feature the history of Northallerton and draw on collections and knowledge from historians in the town.”

Bryan Davies, from Historic England, said: “It’s exciting to see work progressing on the new heritage hub, which will give local people an opportunity to find out more about the history of the area and plans for the regeneration of the high street.

He added: “The aim of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone is to help unlock the potential in Northallerton town centre making it more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.”