Barge bar move to Alexandra Dock scuppered as thousands call for it to be saved
The Barge pub, left, and its location right in a planning picture which shows a fountain in its place
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 9 Aug 2017
Grimsby’s iconic Barge pub CANNOT be moved, throwing further doubt on its future as an iconic feature of the town centre.
Campaigners have been rallying to save The Barge after it emerged that it has no place in developers' ambitious £20m plans to regenerate the Riverhead. Artist's impressions show a fountain in its place.
And by last night more than 6,000 signatures had been gathered in a petition calling for The Barge to be retained at its home in Riverhead.
Campaigner Chris Hinch said: "I have no problem with the cinema being where they want to put it but not at the cost of removing something that is part of the town."
There had been speculation the floating pub could have been moved to nearby Alexandra Dock. But owner Derrick Howard has no confirmed that is not an option.
Hoisting the popular venue to Alexandra Dock would take a leap of faith as well as millions of pounds, he said.
North East Lincolnshire Council wants to promote regeneration of Alexandra Dock as a trendy riverside site with bars and cafes.
The Greater Grimsby Project will build on the £20million Riverhead cinema and restaurant development, with a sports and leisure plan for the recently-bought Victoria Mills, as well as further land acquisitions to create improved residential, business and education opportunities, eventually stretching to the Kazbah on Grimsby Docks.
Derrick Howard, owner of The Barge pub, at the Riverhead, Grimsby has been investing in his town for over 25 years
Town hall bosses are hoping for Heritage Lottery funding and an initial five-year investment plan securing up to £36.9 million of new Government funds. But The Barge will not be part of that regeneration.
Derrick said: “It can’t move. It is land locked. It would need craning, not just once but twice.
“It is not like when it was put in place in 1982. It would need to be lifted twice - once over Sym White Bridge and then over the weir.
“It could only happen if someone one had millions of pounds to lift it.
“I would prefer to keep the option of working with the council and moving it a little bit. We can make it happen if we all work together.
“The best solution is to leave it where it is.”
He said he had been overwhelmed by the massive support to save The Barge.
Derrick said: “The support has been worldwide. It is heartfelt and it is genuine.”
CGI pictures of how the £20 million Freshney Place development will look
Within 24 hours of launching a petition to save The Barge more than 6,000 signatories had rallied to keep the barge afloat.
Developers have submitted plans to remove the barge and replace it with a fountain.
North East Lincolnshire Council issued Derrick with a deadline of June 27 next year when his mooring licence will cease.
A spokesperson for NELC said: “We have already met with the owner of the Barge, and are working with him to look at alternatives for the future possible relocation of the business.
"Alongside the notice period, the application for the development will be progressing through the normal planning process.
"If there any changes when a decision is known, we’ll discuss further options directly with the owner of the establishment.”