Category : Public Realm

First stage of public realm on schedule for Christmas completion

Hull City Council has today (Thursday 13 October) published a decision record confirming its public realm development works will be completed on schedule.

The majority of the works will be completed as planned by the end of December, whilst remaining side streets and Beverley Gate will be complete by March 2017.

In addition, plans to create a new grand entrance into Queen’s Gardens from the Rose Bowl, originally scheduled to begin 2018, will also be brought forward for completion in March 2017.

Today’s decision record agrees to move £8.7m into the project, in accordance with a decision of the cabinet in February 2015.

This brings the total cost of the scheme to £24.8m inclusive of additional works outside of the original scope of the contract. These include the work to Queen’s Gardens, wifi installation and the redesign of Beverley Gate, along with significant archaeological works and utility diversions in Queen Victoria Square, Trinity Square and Whitefriargate.

A number of pieces of street furniture, including benches and some trees, as well as the fountains in Queen Victoria Square will be installed after Christmas.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for public infrastructure, said:

“The scale of works for the public realm project has always been a massive undertaking. We have pushed three years work into just over 12 months, however we are determined to have this work completed on schedule.

“I am happy we have been able to not only schedule completion of what was originally planned in this timeframe, but also push to include more work for 2017 than we’d originally planned for.

“It is imperative that the city presents its best face for the 2017 celebrations and this decision record will ensure that deadlines will be met as well as limiting any future costs to the council.”

Plans for new sculpture location submitted

Plans for a bespoke timepiece sculpture have today been submitted for Queens Gardens.

If approved, Solar Gate would not only be a focal point within the city centre park, but also act as a sundial, highlighting key dates in the city’s history that will be placed as discs of etched stainless steel and integrated with york stone paving earmarked for the area.

Solar Gate would also form part of the renovation of Queens Gardens, which will include a new grand central entrance through from the Rose Bowl. Work is scheduled to begin prior to Christmas, with completion planned in spring 2017. (NB. All other work to transform Queen’s Gardens will begin 2018 as part of the legacy programme).

The plans, which could see the 10m tall piece of art installed into a new spot at the south end of Queens Gardens, have been designed by award-winning architectural practice Tonkin Liu, made up of architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu (bios in notes).

On each date, sunlight will shine through Solar Gate onto the specific disc and highlight that point in time, casting a shadow the space around it.

This modern and unique piece has been amended for its new proposed location and the design now reflects the leafy surroundings of the gardens.

In total, 24 memorable dates and times for events that have shaped our world and Hull’s local history, yet to be agreed, will be marked and celebrated.

Mike Tonkin, Tonkin Liu said:

“Through the alignment of aperture in its two vertical surfaces, Solar Gate marks precise times with light rather than with shadows. Light travels through two spaces, aligned with a specific sun angle, and lands as a disc of light on the ground, illuminating a stainless steel disc with written details of the significance of the corresponding time and date.

“The time piece has been designed through computer programming to create a highly accurate alignment with specific solar angles relating to moments in the cultural calendar tailored to Hull. As with the experience of an eclipse, the waiting for the alignments brings the future, the past, and the present into play.

“At night Solar Gate is illuminated with an ever changing lighting display where its delicacy and undulating geometry is revealed and experienced.

“The advanced technology and the innovative undulating structure employs the latest fabrication techniques to make a deceptively delicate but very robust structure.

“10m tall and 4m wide, the artwork is boat-like in plan, gate-like in elevation, mast-like in side elevation, with a taper to just 10cm. The artwork learns lessons from 500 million years of evolution in sea shell form to make a very strong very light piece produced with the latest digital technologies.”

A formal decision for Planning Committee is likely to be made later this year.

Wider plans for Queen’s Gardens, earmarked for 2018 start, include an impressive new-look, inspired by the 1950’s design including a new performance area and tribute to the late great Mick Ronson.

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Hull’s historic monuments and buildings set to shine

Some of Hull’s most treasured landmarks are set to take the spotlight as plans are underway for a series of light installations.

Complementing the transformation of the city’s public realm, the light artwork has been designed to draw the eye naturally from the ground up to the sky.

Alongside buildings including Hull City Hall and Holy Trinity Church, subject to consultation and approval from church authorities, some of Hull’s most iconic statues will be illuminated, from the Queen Victoria and the Wilberforce monuments, the statue of Andrew Marvell, which is currently being restored before it returns to form, the centrepiece of a regenerated Trinity Square, and the Guildhall monuments ‘Strength’ and ‘Maritime Prowess’, which stand at the top of the Guildhall.

Commissioned to take charge of this ambitious project is nationally recognised light art installation specialist Nayan Kulkarni, who will draw on his experience of creating some of the most ambitious light works in the UK who brings his skills to Hull with designs made exclusively for the city.

Kulkarni’s unique schemes, ‘Sculptures in the Sky’ and ‘the Golden Hour’, will shine a brand new light on some of the city’s most recognisable buildings and sculptures, as well as offering the opportunity  for countless lighting displays to coincide with special events and significant dates.

As part of the project, Hull City Council have now submitted a listed buildings consent application for the new lighting rigs to be fixed to Ferens Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum.

Nayan Kulkarni said about his projects:

“It is a huge privilege to be invited to illuminate the city’s streets, historic buildings and sculptures, not just for 2017 but as a permanent installation. The Golden Hour seeks to create a calm and inspiring set of illuminations that will transform some of Hull’s significant buildings and historical monuments. In combination with the new street lighting, the installation will constantly change the city at night by manipulating its lit effects.

“Using bold and subtle mood changes, colour and shadow will attract the eye from place to place, reflecting speed of pedestrian movement and city life.

“Eyes will be drawn upwards naturally, revealing some of the Hull’s historic architectural features in a way perhaps never seen before. That is, artificial light makes us see differently.”

Subject to listed buildings consent being granted, work will begin on The Golden Hour and Sculptures in the Sky will start later this year and will be delivered in parallel with Hull City Council’s £25 million public realm improvement scheme.

Garry Taylor, City Major Projects Manager said:

“We have a great opportunity that aims to unlock the full potential of the city centre’s historic buildings and bring Hull’s lighting on par with other cities.

“The commissioning of Nayan and the integration of art and creativity throughout the project will ensure the very best of Hull is enhanced.”

Martin Green, Chief Executive of the 2017 City of Culture Company said:

“This project really captures the idea that there is more to Hull than meets the eye. You may think you know this city’s streets, but Nayan Kulkarni’s illuminations will take you on a fascinating new journey as darkness falls.

“In drawing your attention to specific features that may have previously gone unnoticed, it will encourage you to look at familiar buildings in a completely different way.”

The Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Rev Canon Dr Neal Barnes, said:

“The plans for an innovative lighting scheme covering key sites in Hull city centre are very exciting indeed and we’re delighted Holy Trinity has been chosen as one of the landmark structures to be illuminated. It underlines Holy Trinity’s status as an architectural jewel in the city’s crown and complements the £4.5m transformation of the church and grounds which are well under way.

“The proposed lighting of the church is subject to consultation and approval from the church authorities and the tests will inform that process.

“We’re really excited to see how Nayan Kulkarni will enhance even further the beauty and majesty of an iconic building as old as the city of Hull itself but as relevant to local life as it has ever been.”

History of Hull streets on display

Information boards have appeared throughout the city centre, telling the historical stories of the streets.

Six boards have been installed across the city centre in areas included in the public realm project, and offer an insight into how some of the main city centre streets used to look and operate in years gone by.

Boards are stationed at Beverley Gate, Humber Street, Jameson Street, Paragon Square, Queen Victoria Square and Trinity Square.

Each board includes details of the history behind the streets, alongside historical images, interesting facts and a glimpse into the future with CGI imaging of the area.

Councillor Steven Bayes, Portfolio Holder for Visitor Destination said:

“The public realm project seems to have really sparked people’s interest in the city centre and importantly its rich history.

“The boards present an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about their city centre’s past as well as finding out more about the projects that it is hoped will help to make Hull a world-class visitor destination”.

Boards will remain in place throughout the remainder of the public realm programme, when it is hoped more permanent sites can be found for them.

Embracing our Maritime History

Hull City Council wants your views about its long-term plan to rejuvenate Hull’s maritime offering

The Council is asking the public to shape an ambitious bid to reinvigorate the city’s maritime heritage offering.

The public consultation is part of the development of a new, heritage-led regeneration strategy entitled ‘Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City’, with multi-million pound funding bids being the next stage of the process.

The Maritime Museum through the ages

If successful, the bids will reaffirm and celebrate Hull’s role as a world-leading maritime city and could see the city’s much-loved Maritime Museum improved, with revamped galleries, public spaces and more of its world-class treasures on show. Both the Arctic Corsair and the Spurn Lightship could receive much needed conservation along with rejuvenated exhibitions with improved accessibility, allowing everyone to admire the splendour of both vessels.

Garry Taylor, City Major Projects Manager, said:

This is the first stage in a really ambitious bid to secure funding and put Hull on the map as Yorkshire’s Maritime City. If successful we have a great opportunity to reinvigorate Hull’s maritime heritage.

“At this stage, it is important for everyone to get behind the project. Local residents have a key role to play, helping to shape and develop the plans and show their support, which will hopefully help to secure the funding that is needed to make this exciting project a reality.

“This is about securing and safeguarding the long term future of some of Hull’s most important attractions and ensuring we continue the work to make Hull a world-class visitor destination after 2017.”

The project will also seek to tell the story of Hull’s relationship with the sea and the world.

Children learning about Hull’s relationship with the sea and the world

The consultation is open from and including Wednesday 11 May and runs until Friday 17 June. The views of residents, schools, partners and visitors are being sought to ensure that any proposals and future funding bids reflect the needs of everyone with an interest in Hull’s maritime heritage. Views will be sought on the current facilities and attractions on offer and what the future could look like.

How to get involved

You can provide your feedback and complete the questionnaire via this link Copies are also available in museums, libraries and customer service centres.

destination Hull – the city centre’s biggest Easter Egg hunt

Help Fluffy, the destination Hull bunny and her best friend Speckles the chick and you could win a luxury Easter Egg


You could win a luxury Easter Egg plus other special prizes by taking part in the destination Hull Easter Egg hunt.

Fluffy, the destination Hull bunny needs your help to solve a puzzle. There are ten eggs with letters on them, hidden in various buildings in the city centre. Can you help Fluffy by finding all ten letters and rearranging them to form a mystery phrase?


If you get your entry form in quick enough you could even receive a chocolate egg just for taking part!

Join the hunt; it starts on Saturday 26 March and is open until Saturday 9 April. Entries received after this date will not count.

Download your entry form by selecting the link below:

Easter Egg hunt entry form

Keep up to date with extra hints and tips for the hunt on Twitter @destinationHull

Post your completed entry form in the boxes available at the Tourist Information Centre and the Street Life Museum


When you have completed your entry form and posted it you will receive a small chocolate egg just for entering. Then a draw will take place where the winners will be selected at random. The first prize will be a 1kg luxury chocolate egg plus a special mysery prize. Second prize will be a large egg plus two tickets to see Steve Backshall at Hull City Hall. (link opens in a new window) Third prize will be a large egg.

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Terms and condition

  1. Entries received after the closing date, Saturday 9 April will not be entered into the competition
  2. By entering the competition you are agreeing to sign up to the destination Hull newsletter
  3. The winner(s) agree(s) to the use of their name & photograph in any post-winning publicity
  4. Cash alternative not available on the prize
  5. Completed entries can be posted in the boxes available at the Tourist Information Centre or Street Life Museum, or tweeted to @destinationHull
  6. We reserve the right to amend or alter the terms of competitions at any time and reject entries from entrants not entering into the spirit of the competition
  7. No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, damaged or delayed in the post, or due to computer error in transit.

New-look city centre starts to become a reality

After work to transform the city centre started in October last year, the first pieces of the new paving in this multi-million pound project will now start to be laid in the city centre.

Following extensive underground investigation work that have ensured that cabling and pipework have been installed to a high standard and new levels are set; visitors to the city centre will now start to see new high-quality sandstone set in Whitefriargate.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for public infrastructure, said:

“With the next stage of the work now starting, visitors to the city centre will begin to see what the upheaval has all been about. We have invested in materials that are of incredibly high quality with solid foundations that are designed to last, and this will be obvious for all to see once large areas are completed.

“What we need to remember is that a project of a scale has not been undertaken in the city for many years and, with an incredibly tight schedule to keep to, unfortunately it does mean some disruption.

“We would like to thanks residents and especially the businesses in the city centre for their patience and support during this time. It is clear that they too share the Council’s vision for the city centre and know that on completion, they will be the ones to reap the benefits of this massive investment.”

With areas soon starting to move into the completion phase, the city centre will now see more areas start the process of excavations before new materials are laid.

Councillor Mancey added:

“It’s important that visitors to the city centre remember that Hull is well and truly open for business and this development work should not dissuade people from travelling in and shopping.

“Our contractors, Eurovia, are working hard to ensure that this work is phased, retaining access to all businesses and residential property at all times.”

We hake to say goodbye…but it’ll be back eel-y soon!

Elements of Hull’s much-loved attraction are to undergo a refresh whilst the regeneration of the city centre takes place.

Nine of the 41 pieces of the ever-popular Seven Seas Fish Trail will be lifted from the ground and placed into secure storage until they can be reinstalled towards the end of the year.

The free trail, first laid in 1992 has seen tens of thousands of people take part, leading them on a two-mile journey from Queen Victoria Square and through the Old Town.

Each piece will be re-laid as it was, with replacements to some of the pieces that have suffered wear and tear over the years being placed into the new high-quality materials that will soon start to be laid in the city centre.

Artist Gordon Young, who laid the original trail will be involved in the refurbishment and ensure that the fish are restored to good health.

Mr Young said:

“I am proud to have created the Fish Trail and find it to be one of the top 3 sculpture walks in Yorkshire, it’s been an honour over the years. It led to using Hull and some of its talented people for many other projects.

“I will be pleased to see the Fish Trail restored and brought back to life with the regeneration of the city centre.

The majority of the trail will be back in place by December of this year with the final fish completed as part of the works to Beverley Gate in Spring 2017.

In addition, part of the Wilberforce Trail will also be removed during the works before being reinstated on completion.