Destination Hull: Major city centre projects given the green light

Plans for a state-of-the-art 3,500-seater music and events centre and the redevelopment of Hull’s historic Beverley Gate have today been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Hull City Council’s Planning Committee have approved plans for the ‘Hull Venue’ which, it is hoped, will put Hull on the UK map as a location for major events, shows and music concerts.

The plans approved today include the building of the new centre, alongside the cladding of Osborne Street carpark and additional public spaces in a currently derelict area on Myton Street behind Princes Quay.

The centre will include a 3,500 capacity concert auditorium with the flexibility to reduce to a 2,500 all-seated event and a 2,000m2 exhibition space plus 800 capacity conference auditorium. It is also predicted that the scheme will deliver 30 full time jobs with 100 – 150 temporary jobs on event days.

Hull Venue
Councillor Steven Bayes, Portfolio Holder for Visitor Destination said:

“The approval of this scheme is key to making Hull a top visitor destination and to securing a long-term legacy from our year as UK City of Culture.

“We will formally hand over the City of Culture title to another city in 2020, but this development will allow us to continue to attract events capable of delivering a big economic impact beyond that.

“Importantly, it will deliver a large number long-term jobs for our local workforce and young people, which is part of the legacy that we want to deliver for Hull and the city.”

The council has committed £36.2m towards the cost of building the complex on the site behind Princes Quay shopping centre and this investment will also modernise Osborne Street carpark.

Situated close to the key road and rail routes in and out of Hull, the new Hull Venue will revitalise and reconnect the heart of the city centre by providing a link between the historic Old Town, the 1950s-built ‘new town’ and the city’s transport interchange and St. Stephen’s shopping centre. The aim is to provide an iconic landmark for visitors travelling to and through the city, as well as offering conference delegates and gig-goers spectacular views of Hull Marina.

Work will now begin later this year, following BAM Construction’s appointment in December. The Venue is scheduled to open in 2018 as part of the city’s legacy programme.

Plans for the redevelopment of Beverley Gate have today also been approved by planning councillors, meaning that the work is one step closer to beginning. With its new Scheduled Monument status, an application will now be made to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, in consultation with Historic England, to be assessed and approved.

Plans will see walls exposed and current access retained and improved.  Changes to the point of entry and a lighter solution to safety railings will create a more attractive space, where people can sit closer at a higher level.

Beverley Gate

Councillor Bayes added:

“We always wanted to properly acknowledge the historical significance of Beverley Gate and to enhance its representation and public awareness.

“I believe these plans successfully do this and the end result will be something the city can be proud of”.

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.

HISTORIC BEVERLEY GATE IN HULL PROTECTED

Beverley Gate, which marks the spot where King Charles I was refused entry into the city of Hull in 1642, leading to the outbreak of the English Civil War, has been given protection by the Department for Culture Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

Beverley Gate and the nearby archaeological remains have been granted protection because of the national importance of Hull’s 14th century town walls. It is one of the four principal medieval gateways into the town and the one that was closed to King Charles I on 23 April 1642, which was a pivotal moment in the build-up to the English Civil War.

The medieval monument also meets the criteria for protection due to the fact that the site has well-preserved archaeological remains.

Nick Bridgland, Listing Team Leader for Historic England in the North of England said:

“We appreciate the huge importance of this site, right in the city centre, to the people of Hull and how its history will be presented in the future. As Hull prepares its plans for City of Culture 2017, the significance of its medieval past and Hull’s role in the Civil War are now being formally recognised by the protection of the remains of Beverley Gate.”

Councillor Steven Bayes, Hull City Council cabinet portfolio holder for UK City of Culture and visitor destination, said:

“Following the overwhelming response to last year’s consultation on the future of Beverley Gate, it is fitting that Historic England is acknowledging the national importance of the site.

“I am pleased it will now be identified as a Scheduled Monument and the Council will ensure the plans to rejuvenate the site are in-keeping with its new status.”

Following extensive public consultation, Hull City Council continues to work with Historic England about plans for new interpretation so that visitors to Hull during its year as UK City of Culture 2017 and beyond will have a better insight into the rich past of Hull’s Old Town.

Facelift for Hull New Theatre to start soon

The work to get Hull ready for its year as UK City of Culture is set to continue following the closure of Hull New Theatre for a major refurbishment.

Renovation works will soon begin at the theatre, which will include improved backstage areas and structural work along with a new fly tower, enabling the theatre to bring more ambitious shows to the city.

Hull City Council has today confirmed that the renovation of the theatre will move ahead despite an unsuccessful bid for funding from Arts Council England towards the project.

Councillor Steven Bayes, Hull City Council portfolio holder for UK City of Culture and Visitor Destination said:

“As part of our wider programme of investments in the city’s cultural infrastructure, the renovation of Hull New Theatre is critical to ensuring that Hull secures a lasting legacy from its year as UK City of Culture 2017.

“Whilst the news from the Arts Council is disappointing, the Council remains committed to the refurbishment of the theatre. The venue is very important to the city and is absolutely critical to our plans for 2017 and beyond.

“With any project of this scale and ambition, there will be setbacks from time to time, however, we are actively exploring other potential funding options.”

After one of the most successful panto seasons in its history, the theatre has now closed its doors to allow preparatory work to begin.

During the closure, where it is possible, a number of shows will transfer to Hull City Hall to ensure there is still a comprehensive programme offer during 2016.  The refurbished theatre will be open by Easter 2017.

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The future of Beverley Gate – the results are in!

The results are in and the public has delivered a resounding verdict on the redevelopment options for Hull’s historic Beverley Gate, with 86.9 percent of respondents voting in favour of leaving the city walls open and visible. 

A total of 3,889 people took part in the poll, with 3,381 respondents voting for the site of the walls to be left open, 481 (12.4 per cent) saying they would prefer the site to be filled in and 27 people (0.7 per cent) showing no preference.

Hull City Council had asked people to vote on two possible options for redevelopment of the site, which is a key part of its multi-million pound public realm improvement programme that will see the city transformed in time for its year as UK City of Culture 2017.

Both designs aimed to celebrate the historic significance of the site where, in 1642, Sir John Hotham refused Charles I entry to the city, an act of defiance widely acknowledged as the spark that ignited the English Civil War.

Councillor Steven Bayes, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for UK City of Culture and Visitor Destination said:

“I’m pleased that so many people have taken part in this consultation which has not only sparked interest in the future of Beverley Gate but has raised awareness of its historical significance, which I believe is something that has been missing in recent years.

“We have always wanted to properly acknowledge the historical significance of the site and, listening to the feedback we received as part of the Destination Hull exhibition in the summer, we felt it was appropriate to give the public a choice.” 

This preferred option, including all the results of the poll and all feedback received will be submitted as part of the application that will go to the Council’s Planning Committee early in the New Year.

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Funding secured for refurbishment of Trinity Market

Hull City Council is pleased to announce that a project to revitalise Hull’s Trinity Market will now go ahead thanks to a successful bid to the Coastal Communities Revival Fund.

On Friday 11 December Hull City Council was awarded £50,000 for the Trinity Market Revival, marking a step forward in plans to regenerate the Old Town whilst making the most of the area’s striking architecture.

Funding for the £3m Revival Fund received 222 bids, totalling £9m. With the funding three times oversubscribed, the Trinity Market refurbishment was recognised as a priority project to receive a slice of Coastal Communities Revival Fund.

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Members of the public will today be asked to choose their preferred design for improving the public realm at Hull’s historic Beverley Gate.

After listening to feedback from local residents and other stakeholders on the evolving plans for the site, Hull City Council has commissioned two new, radically different designs that will be put to public consultation.

Both designs aim to celebrate the historic significance of the site where, in 1642, Sir John Hotham refused Charles I entry to the city, an act of defiance widely acknowledged as the spark that ignited the English Civil War.

  • Option 1 goes back to the original proposal retains the visibility of the walls. This current access would be retained and improved.  Changes to the point of entry and a lighter solution to safety railings will create a more attractive space, where people can sit closer at a higher level. There will be space for people to circulate around the walls but the route through to Whitefriargate will be tighter than Option 2.
  • Option 2 will see Beverley Gate filled in, preserving the walls in situ. The area will be covered by a public green space with large lawns and new trees, providing a space for people to sit and relax and a clear route into Whitefriargate and the Old Town.  The Beverley Gate will be marked by a specially commissioned map, etched into the stone surface, showing the extent of Hull’s historic Old Town

The two new options for the redevelopment of the monument will be on display online and at consultation events in Princes Quay for the next fortnight, offering the public the opportunity to express their views.  Work to deliver the preferred option will begin in spring 2016, subject to approval by the Planning Committee early in the New Year.

Hull City Council Portfolio Holder for UK City of Culture and Destination Hull, Councillor Steven Bayes, said:

“We have listened to the feedback received during the summer on both previous options and feel these newly developed options reflect the different views voiced by the public and other stakeholders.

“We always wanted to properly acknowledge the historical significance of the site and to enhance its representation and public awareness.

“Whilst completely different in approach, both of the options should be considered.”

The public survey will go live on Hull City Council’s website from 6am on Monday 30 November and will be open until 5.30pm on Monday 14 December. The public will be offered the chance to choose their preferred option and give feedback on the proposed plans.

Plans will also be on display at Princes Quay with members of the council’s Major Projects team on hand to answer questions and discuss the plans, as well as cast their vote. Events will take place on the Monument Bridge entrance to Princes Quay:

  • Monday 30 November – 10am – 2pm
  • Thursday 3 December – 12-2pm and 6-8pm
  • Friday 4 December – 12-2pm
  • Saturday 5 December – 12-2pm
  • Thursday 10 December – 12-2pm and 6-8pm
  • Friday 11 December – 12-2pm
  • Saturday 12 December – 12-2pm

The preferred option and all feedback received will be included as part of the application that will go to Planning Committee early in the new year.

 

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