A COUNCIL-owned building in the city centre - which has lain empty since 2017 - is set to be refurbished.

Senior councillors will put £270,000 towards renovating 29 Castlegate, the building next to Fairfax House and close to Fenwick in the Coppergate Centre.

The venue was previously used as a young people’s centre, but has been empty for nearly three years according to City of York Council.

And cash has now been set aside in next year's budget to transform the building into offices or commercial space that can be rented out.

A report says: "The project to renovate 29 Castlegate will restore a substantial council owned period property that has been vacant and is in need of repair to make use of such.

"The condition of the building both internally and externally is deteriorating whilst unoccupied.

"Utilising the property fully will serve to enhance the surrounding streetscape, bringing new business into the property/ area."

It adds that the property is close to tourist attractions, including Clifford's Tower, as well as shops in the Coppergate Centre.

And that councillors will think about the benefits and disadvantages of different uses for the building.

It adds: "The council's construction and design team estimate to carry out a refurbishment of the property to bring it to a lettable condition, which would provide alterations to the office space to provide an optimal layout in the market would cost £170,000, whilst a further £100,000 may be needed for structural works, although further investigation and monitoring needs to be undertaken."

In 2017 there were plans to sell the building to York Conservation Trust - at a 25 per cent discount to take into account the “economic and social value” the trust’s plan to use it as an extension to neighbouring Fairfax House would bring.

But opposition councillors criticised the plans/

They said that selling the Grade II-listed building for £431,000 instead of the market price of £575,000 would be both wrong and a sign of financial incompetence.