A FORMER town centre police station has been bought by a hospitality group which is turning it into a pub with rooms employing 50 people.

The Grade II listed building in the heart of Northallerton was the town's police station for over 30 years before being moved to new police headquarters at the opposite end of the town at Alverton Court. It still has custody cells and the police reception desk.

Before that the Georgian building had been used as local council offices and a library.

The new owners, The Inn Collection Group, say a multi million pound refurbishment is planned to transform the building into a 32 bedroomed pub with rooms.

Work is due to start in the new year with the new hotel expected to open in autumn 2021. Managing director for the group Sean Donkin said: "We are delighted to have completed on the Police Station in Northallerton, it’s a site we have been working together with the vendors and our design partners on for a considerable period of time.

"We are excited to be broadening our customer base and presence here in North Yorkshire with the addition of a Northallerton location to our group. It is a great country town that is full of character with good access and visitation, while the venue itself is superbly located.

"We have a proven track record for repurposing and enhancing historic buildings. We’re looking forward to applying that here and creating an exciting new venue in the heart of Northallerton and being a part of the community, providing year-round food, drink and accommodation services and, of course, employment opportunities at a critical time."

The group have not revealed the cost of the redevelopment but say it takes their portfolio of pubs with rooms to 18 including four in North Yorkshire,

These include the freehold sites at The Black Swan at Helmsley, The Stables at Whitby and the Kings Head at Newton Under Roseberry.

With up to 500 staff in total they were named the Best Pub Employer for the second year running in the Publican Awards.

The company say their eat, drink, sleep and explore portfolio also includes sites in the Lake District, Northumberland , County Durham and Lancashire. They're currently building a new 40 bedroomed hotel on Sunderland's sea front.

The new site is the groups seventh this year, backed by Alchemy, they say they're concentrating on delivering strategic buy and build growth plans supported by banking via OakNorth.

They were advised by Newcastle-based law firm Wardhadaway and Bradley Hall with North Shields based interior and commercial architects Myperspective.