Council gives go-ahead to buy Hull's Albion Square buildings

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 24 Oct 2017

COUNCILLORS have given the go-ahead to start the process of buying three empty former department stores in Hull city centre. 

The move is the first step towards clearing the Albion Square site for redevelopment

The cabinet approval will also see the city council look for a private sector developer to work with on a proposed mixed use scheme including new retail, leisure and apartments. 

A budget of £2.8m has been set aside to cover the cost of buying the former BHS, Co-op and Edwin Davis stores.

BHS closed last year, but the Co-op and Edwin Davis buildings have been derelict for decades.

The council hopes to acquire the privately owned properties through agreement, but will use compulsory powers if it must. 

Deputy leader, Councillor Daren Hale, said: “This site has lain derelict for a long time.

“The option has been there for the private sector to develop it, but there has been a singular failure to do so.

“What we are doing here is a classic case of the public and private sectors working together to bring this scheme to the  

market.”

He said the council’s investment would be repaid in the long-term through increased council tax and business rates generated by the development, together with the potential sale of the current Hull Arena ice rink site.

The council is hoping to incorporate a new ice rink within the Albion Square scheme.

Cllr Hale said: “I think it will be a win-win development, because, hopefully, it will attract the kind of retail offer the city centre is missing at the moment.”

The project is expected to take between three and five years to complete and could create around 470 new full-time jobs.

Councillors also hope to include the iconic Three Ships mosaic on the front of the BHS building in the new design.

Council leader Councillor Steve Brady said: “The people of Hull have been waiting a long time for this. The last time I saw any activity on this site Des O’Connor was topping the charts.”

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