City centre regeneration and start of City of Culture year boosts city’s feel-good factor
Interim survey reveals vast majority of people believe Hull’s city centre disruption during regeneration has been worthwhile
61 per cent* of residents recently polled as part of the People’s Panel believe the interruption during the £25m regeneration of the city centre has been worthwhile.
Comments from residents completing the survey included:
- “Fantastic transformation. Well worth the disruption. Very much needed to get people into the city centre and visiting the city”
- “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, meaning, the disruption is temporary and we need to focus on the longer term benefits, otherwise people would never ever get improvements done to the city for fear of causing disruption”
- “I have already visited more and been amazed at the number of people in the city centre, Ferens museums.”
Civic pride has had a boost too with 68 per cent of those polled saying that they feel positive or very positive about the city centre and Hull in general with 73 per cent agreeing with the statement “I am proud to live in or near Hull.”
88 per cent of recipients say they have increased the frequency they visit the city centre because of more events like the re-opening of the Ferens Art Gallery and the Weeping Window poppy installation. 53 percent said their increased visits were down to the buzz, 50 per cent because there are more people around, 26 per cent because of more restaurants, pubs and bars and 28 per cent because of more family friendly activities.
These findings came as many took to social media to comment on how Hull city centre was enjoying one of its busiest weekends of the City of Culture year so far, continuing the trend since the beginning of the year that saw 342,000 visitors to the Made in Hull event in the first week of January alone.
The city centre’s evening economy has also seen an up-turn as 83 percent of those polled say that since the start of January, and Hull’s tenure as the UK city of culture, they have visited the city centre in the evening compared to 43 percent one year ago.
The findings also reveal that 79 per cent of people believe work to regenerate Queen Victoria Square will have a positive or very positive impact on the city centre, as will the reinstatement of food markets in Trinity square and Whitefriargate (82 per cent).
Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council said:
“The decision to consolidate the £24.8m public realm works into 18 months and the associated inconvenience was not entered into lightly but it is clear that it is already paying off. The city centre has been transformed into a place that residents can be proud of and hundreds of thousands of visitors have enjoyed since Hull started its tenure as UK City of Culture in January. Footfall has exceeded all expectations and is bringing new audiences into the city.
“Since 2014 and throughout the works, over 40 new businesses have opened in the city centre and 500 new jobs have been created in the cultural, retail and hospitality sectors. Pubs and restaurants are busier than ever and some retailers.
“The transformed public realm provides a stage for installations like Blade, which visitors have flocked to and the perfect backdrop for Weeping Window, we anticipate high numbers of footfall to continue throughout 2017 and beyond.”
This current People’s Panel survey remains open until Friday 21 April. Anyone wanting to complete the survey can join the People’s Panel by visiting www.hullcc.gov.uk/peoplespanel, texting “panel” and an email address to 07795563000 or emailing email@example.com. None members can also complete this survey using the same web link.
*15 per cent said ‘no’, 24 per cent said ‘don’t know’