Grimsby secures special status and cash to bring neglected town and docks buildings back to life

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 6 Dec 2017

Neglected buildings in Grimsby's docks and town centre will be brought back into use after they were given special status.

The sites will benefit from grant funding provided by Historic England after the town was chosen as one of the country's latest so-called Heritage Action Zones.

A detailed five-year delivery plan, which promises to stimulate Grimsby's economy and provide new employment opportunities, is in the process of being prepared and will be delivered from spring 2018 onwards.

Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for regeneration at North East Lincolnshire Council, said the Heritage Action Zone will form a significant part of the wider multi-million pound Greater Grimsby Town Deal.

"Grimsby is changing with the new industries we are seeing in the town and pulling all the strands of work together will help to truly transform the economic outlook for the town," he said. 

“Lots of pieces of the jigsaw are finally beginning to come together. That takes hard work and dedication – it’s not by any stretch of the imagination a quick process.


The Alexandra Dock and Victoria Mills is include in the Heritage Action Zone

"Now we need to deliver the projects with our local communities and our partners to realise Greater Grimsby’s full potential and make sure that the town’s character and heritage will truly benefit the area.”

Grimsby is one of eight locations in the UK which have been chosen to become Heritage Action Zones, John Glen, minister for arts, heritage and tourism, announced in a speech today. 

The scheme will be run by North East Lincolnshire Council and Historic England, with support from Associated British Ports.

Grimsby's Heritage Action Zone stretches from the port to Wellowgate.

Over five years it will bring neglected buildings back into use for employment and help stimulate a revival of the town’s economy. 


Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for regeneration, assets, skills and housing.

Heritage Action Zones first came into being earlier this year with the aim of unleashing power in England’s historic environment to create economic growth and improve quality of life in villages, towns and cities.

READ MORE: Riverhead cinema complex set for council approval

Working with local people and partners, Historic England hope to breathe new life into old places that are rich in heritage and full of promise, such as Grimsby's docks. 

Working with Associated British Ports, the council wish to transform the Kasbah area of the docks, where the designation of a new Conservation Area has recently recognised the importance of historic smokehouses and other buildings associated with the fishing industry.

The programme also aims to reconnect the town centre with the port by promoting re-use of historic buildings along Alexandra Dock. These include Victoria Mills, where North East Lincolnshire Council spent more than £2 million on urgent repairs, including grant-aid from Historic England. The building is now in public ownership and is set to make its own contribution to regeneration plans. 


Empty buildings in the historic Grimsby Docks are among the focus of the project

A project manager will be employed to spearhead the scheme and to secure funding for specific regeneration projects and co-ordinate the overall programme.

John Glen, minister for arts, heritage and tourism, said: "Our heritage not only tells the story of our past, it creates great places to live, work and visit. The Heritage Action Zone scheme will make the most out of Grimsby’s historic environment to kick-start regeneration, increase tourism and boost investment."

The Heritage Action Zone is described as being at the "heart of North East Lincolnshire Council’s plans for regeneration in Grimsby" and will contribute to the Town Centre Investment Plan, as well as the Great Grimsby Town Deal - an ambitious package of plans to work with government, first announced by the Council in July 2017. 

Louise Brennan, planning director for Historic England in the East Midlands, said: “Few places in England have as distinctive a heritage as Grimsby, and few have so much to gain from it. Grimsby holds a unique place in our history as a seafaring nation, and the evidence can still be seen in abundance in historic buildings like those in the Kasbah.

"These places are not only symbols of the past but opportunities for the future. With a little imagination and investment, Grimsby’s heritage is poised to release new economic vitality and pride in the town." 

She added: "The success of Grimsby’s bid is a tribute to the vision and commitment of North East Lincolnshire Council and Associated British Ports.

"It will be a privilege to continue working with them and other local partners over the next five years, and play our part in putting the Town Deal into action. The Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone will enable Grimsby not only to celebrate its past, but also to look to the future with confidence.” 


Councillor Jane Hyldon-King, portfolio holder health, wellbeing and adult social care. (Image: Jon Corken)

READ MORE: This is when £4.1m redevelopment of Grimsby town centre will be complete

Councillor Jane Hyldon-King, whose portfolio includes borough heritage at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “The Heritage Action Zone stretches from the port to Wellowgate in central Grimsby, and having this status will help us work on the fantastic heritage assets we have within it.” 

Simon Bird, Port Director Humber at Associated British Ports, added: “This announcement is another huge step forward in breathing new life into the Kasbah which is already part of a thriving port.

"We are determined that heritage-led regeneration in the Port of Grimsby will be a real engine for growth in jobs and opportunities. Ports and logistics-based activities have been a mainstay of the economy of North East Lincolnshire for many years, and our programme of investment at Grimsby and Immingham looks set to ensure that our ports here continue to keep Britain trading for decades to come.

"Regeneration of the Kasbah area in Grimsby has come to symbolise the special partnership approach that we have adopted with North East Lincolnshire Council, and we look forward to working with them and with Historic England to spearhead a programme of economic regeneration for the future.” 

The full list of the eight Heritage Action Zones announced today: 

• Greater Grimsby 
• Stoke-on-Trent Ceramic 
• Stockton and Darlington Railway 
• Bishop Auckland 
• Rochdale Town Centre 
• North Lowestoft Heritage Quarter 
• Dewsbury Living Market Town 
• Walworth, London 

This is the second wave of Heritage Action Zones. The first wave - made up of ten Heritage Action Zones - was announced in March 2017.

READ MORE: Today's main headlines from Humberbusiness.com



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