Sneaton Castle and the surrounding St Hilda's Priory buildings are to be sold and 16 jobs are now at risk, it has been confirmed.
A statement from the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete confirmed that the site will be sold "to enable future development and sustainability of the Order and its ongoing commitment to Whitby."
The closure is set to take place in December 2018 and it is not yet confirmed what will happen to the centre. Any redevelopment will be subject to local authority planning permission.
Sister Carole, Prioress of the Order said: "We are very sad to see the closure of the centre and particularly the loss of our staff, we will offer them all the support we can as they look for new jobs. We firmly believe that these planned changes are inspired by the Holy Spirit and will allow us to develop a viable and exciting ministry for the future."
The decision means the closure of the loss-making Sneaton Castle Centre, a retreat and conference facility run by the order since the 1990s following the closure of the former girls' boarding school on the site.
The new priory has already been funded and will be built in the grounds. The Sisters will continue to develop community contacts in Whitby, share their expertise in elderly care and welcome Tertiary members of the Order, and guests to share its ministry and everyday life.
The site has been home to the Order of the Holy Paraclete since its foundation in 1915.