RYEDALE District Council will move out of its current building in Old Malton by autumn 2020, under new plans.

The plans, approved by the council’s policy and resources committee last Thursday, are part of a radical transformation of the way the council will work in future.

They include the creation of a £2.5m public service hub on the site of the current Community House at Wentworth Street in Malton, a £75,000 car park strategy for Ryedale and, following the vacation of Ryedale House, a study into developing the site for housing.

While the new hub is being built, there will also be £50,000 allocated from the general reserve for improvements to Ryedale House “to make the building more suitable for staff”.

Following the closure of Ryedale House, council meetings will be held in the Milton Rooms.

At the meeting, chairman of the committee Cllr Luke Ives said: “I welcome this paper this evening. Finally we are making a decision. It’s a decision that will allow this council to move forward.”

In the last few years, as part of the council’s Towards 2020 programme, a significant number of staff have left the council.

Cllr Ives said: “You only need to walk round the building to see empty rooms and the place is falling apart. It’s all about saving money and working with others.”

The decision to press on with the plans was set to be made in July last year but was pushed back by the ruling Conservative group who said the authority needed more time - though this was criticised at the time as “procrastination” by independent Cllr Linda Cowling.

At Thursday’s meeting, Cllr Cowling said: “We all know this project so well. We’ve had such a lot of information from officers. It absolutely ticks all the boxes for this council.”

The £2.5m for the hub will come from the council’s new homes bonus reserve; money given to it by central Government as a reward and incentive for increasing home-building in the district.

Funding was also secured through the North Yorkshire Property Partnership bid in the One Public Estate Programme. £130,000 was granted for Ryedale House and the new hub.

Cllr Ives said that the new premises would not be a “flashy”, but rather it would be a “small” office. “It’s showing that Ryedale is being forward-thinking,” he said. “The message tonight is that Ryedale is back in business. We’re moving forward and moving forward fast.”

The motion to approve the plans was carried with eight votes for and one abstention.