Business centre at historic Knaresborough estate gets half a million pound makeover

A half a million pound upgrade of Conyngham Hall business centre in Knaresborough has been completed.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 10:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 10:56 am
Harrogate Borough Council has spent £500,000 upgrading Conyngham Hall business centre.

Harrogate Borough Council said it made the investment to improve facilities for existing tenants and firms considering a move to the grade two listed building.

Conyngham Hall is home to several small businesses but the council said its facilities "did not meet the expectations tenants have for a modern business centre."

Works to upgrade the historic estate began before the coronavirus outbreak and now completed councillor Graham Swift, cabinet member for economic development, has hailed it as a "fantastic transformation".

He said: "There is a continuing need for small and start-up businesses to find high quality office space that provides excellent critical services.

“Conyngham Hall is now a fantastic choice for small and medium sized businesses who want to move from a kitchen table, expand their operations or for established firms looking to grow in a first class location with best in class services.”

The works included upgrades to communal areas, kitchens, toilets and meeting spaces.

The council said the works have been carried out under the supervision of a conservation team to ensure period features of the listed building are retained.

The investment has also paid for faster internet, new carpets and redecoration.

Councillor Swift added: “As well as improving those internal spaces, we’ve made sure Conyngham Hall is better connected to the outside world with a significant upgrade to ultra-fast internet.

“We recognise that so many businesses rely on robust broadband these days and I am pleased that we are able to offer one of the best connections currently available."

Separately, the grounds of Conyngham Hall are one of four locations in Knaresborough being considered for a new multi-million pound swimming pool and gym to serve the town.

However, more than 1,500 people have backed a campaign to protect the historic estate from development.

Local Liberal Democrats have warned the leisure centre would result in the "significant loss of much-valued green space", but the council has insisted no decision has been made and that residents will be consulted.

The other options being considered include Hay-a-Park and Knaresborough House.

A redevelopment of the town’s existing 29-year-old swimming pool on King James Road is also on the cards.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter