CONTRACTORS are demolishing former press buildings in York ready for student accommodation to be built on the site.

Disused store and transport buildings behind the offices of The Press in Walmgate have already been torn down.

Demolition contractors PP O’Connor said they have made good progress on the project so far, with only the concrete foundations for those buildings remaining.

They are now set to start work removing the old press hall and vacant offices – and plan to use a 20ft section of building as a “divider” between the buildings to be demolished and offices which are still occupied by newspaper staff.

Developers S Harrison plan a £35 million development to construct 350 student flats on The Press’s site, providing 648 student rooms.

A new frontage will go up in Walmgate, where operator Student Castle will have its management suite, reception and student common room.

A new archway will be built where the entrance to the car park now stands.

The buildings were opened in 1989 when The Press moved from its previous home in Coney Street – now City Screen – but the press hall closed several years ago when printing moved out of the city.

The newspaper’s offices will now move to the redeveloped former Poads grain merchant building at the south-east of the Walmgate site, next to Hurst’s Yard.

S Harrison also developed the £14.7 million St John Central site on Carmelite Street, Hungate, which provided 258 student bedrooms and was bought by York St John University as part of its development and expansion strategy.