THE Salvation Army’s historic York Citadel is facing closure under plans to relocate to a modern building elsewhere in the city.

The Grade Two-listed building in Gillygate was opened in 1883 by York’s Lord Mayor, less than 20 years after the movement was founded in 1865 by William Booth.

But now the Salvationists have announced plans to move to a more

suitable building in the city.

The Citadel is the only one in York although the charity does have a business address listed at a member’s home.

Eyebrows are already being raised about the decision. But the Salvation Army insist it will benefit its work in York for generations to come.

Major Andrew Dunkinson, Corps Officer (minister) in charge of York Citadel

said: "The Salvation Army has been serving the people of York for more

than 130 years.

“Over the decades, the city has grown and developed and

the facilities required to meet community needs have changed.

“Our premises in Gillygate no longer enable us to respond effectively to the services we are called upon to provide.”

He underlined the poor and other people helped by the Army would benefit from the changes.

He added: "Our vision is for a new purpose built, flexible and accessible centre

that will enable us to host a wide variety of activities and services.

“We believe this is a new and exciting chapter which will equip us to respond

and be relevant to this community for many years to come.”

The charity is looking for temporary home to ensure the switch to modern site goes smoothly.

He added: "We are now in the process of identifying temporary accommodation for our

various programmes while we look for a permanent new home.

“We would love to hear from anyone who might have facilities suitable, in the short term, for a community programme, an office or secure storage.

“We are so grateful for the support that we have already received and believe our

plans for the future will benefit the City of York for generations to come."