A toll-booth/town hall and market has been located in the Market Place since the 17th century. After the original toll booth building became decayed and unsuitable, it was demolished and in 1788 the then Lord of the Manor, Nathaniel Cholmley commissioned Jonathan Pickernell of Whitby to design the Old Town Hall as we know today.
An outdoor market still takes place within Whitby market place and the undercroft of the old town hall building to this present day. However, the building is in a poor state of repair and the first floor has not been occupied or used since 2017.
This project aims to deliver improvements to the Grade II* Listed Old Town Hall building and Market Place, which are an iconic part of the town's heritage. We will repair & restore the building to secure its structural integrity and improve the appearance of this unique heritage asset for Whitby. The available floor space in both the first floor and undercroft will be repurposed to provide year-round community and cultural activities alongside existing market usage and we will improve the market place area through the creation of a stepped platform extending the undercroft, lighting and anchor points for market stalls.
The aims of the project are to:
- Build on the history and heritage of the old town hall building and market place by repairing and restoring the building to secure its structural integrity and improve the appearance of this unique heritage asset for Whitby
- Restore the old town hall building a key focal point for Whitby through refurbishment and repurposing the building for community use, creating 112sqm of floorspace to ensure the building is sustainable and income-generating in the long term.
- Create a vibrant and bustling year round market place, with 81sqm of improved quality of public realm and improved facilities for market traders, driving an increase in footfall and dwell times
Following wide reaching engagement in 2022, the project proposals for the Market Place landscaping were amended. As a result of feedback received from stakeholders and the community, the project team amended plans and removed the proposal to create a secondary platform at the bottom of the the Market Place. The proposals now just include an extension of the undercroft out into the Market Place to better connect the two areas.
In July 2023, planning permission and listed building consent was received for the project with support from Historic England. Appointed consultants are now developing the technical design detail and it is anticipated tenders will be issued in December 2023 to appoint the contractors to undertake the works.