Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball Restoration project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Hull City Council has been successful in receiving initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the restoration of the Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball.

The first-round pass means the project has met HLF criteria for funding and has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money.

Alongside this successful bid, the council has also been granted £47,000 from the National Lottery player development fund to help progress plans to apply for a full grant.

Garry Taylor, City Major Projects Manager said:

“This project could deliver much-needed investment and heritage-led restoration for one of the Hull’s most recognisable historic timepieces.

“The grant would not only restore the Time Ball to full working order, but also renovate the tower and provide good access and learning opportunities for residents.

“The project will prove a fitting contribution to the City Plan ambition to make Hull a world-class visitor destination by enhancing its unique heritage and culture.”

If successful, the project will not only involve a programme of physical restoration works, but will also develop a programme of activity and engagement, collecting memories, skills and knowledge from the current Clock Custodian through oral history and an appeal for public memories associated with the Guildhall Time Ball. An apprenticeship opportunity for a young person could also be created to learn the Clock Custodian’s role through shadowing & skill sharing.

The council will now begin to put together a second stage bid with an application planned for submission later this year.

To coincide with this news, the council have today published a decision record detailing the funding set aside to support this project through stage two and beyond if the bid is successful.

time ball

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.

Official opening and naming of West Park play-park

New top-quality play facilities at West Park are to be officially opened, following a naming competition with local school pupils.

Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, alongside local ward Councillors Alan Clarke, Lyn Petrini and Helena Spencer, Hull FC owner Adam Pearson and team legend Johnny Whitely, will officially open ‘Kids Kingdom’ on Friday (1 July) following a major refurbishment.

The winning entry ‘Kids Kingdom’ was submitted by year 6, Chiltern Primary School pupils, Kayleigh Carroll and Kieran Fowler-King who both submitted the same suggestion and chosen by local ward councillors.

The £1.2m makeover of the play park, the facility features paddling pool and medieval tower which is the first of its kind in the country.

The tower transports children back to a world of knights and chivalry for a host of fun adventures and is large enough for adults to access and join in the fun with younger children, and with two slides at different heights, allowing older children to climb higher and enjoy the thrill of sliding down the four meter high spiral chute!

Additionally the park will also feature a brand new skate plaza and multi-use Games area that will be completed in August.

Council progresses work on Hull Venue

Hull City Council has today (Tuesday 28 June) published a decision record that will move forward the plans for a 3,500-seater conference and events centre in the city centre.

The decision record confirms an extension of the pre-construction services agreement with BAM Construction Ltd, the firm contracted to build the venue, to ensure the programme of works remains on track for a 2018 completion.

The £2.9m agreement will include a clean-up of the site and demolition of buildings that will make way for the start of the new venue build later this year.

Work beginning at the end of this month will include the clearance of shrubbery and rubbish, archaeological work including historic buildings records and excavations, ground investigations, temporary works to make damaged areas safe, asbestos surveys and service disconnections.

The decision record published today mean the project will progress as scheduled with the centre due to open in 2018, as part of the city’s UK City of Culture legacy programme and supporting Hull’s long-term ambition to become a world-class visitor destination.

Historic water fountain restoration proposals submitted

Proposals to restore an historic water fountain in Pearson Park have been submitted to Hull City Council.

In the plans, the cast iron MacFarlane no.7 fountain bowl will be temporarily removed from the park and restored by Heritage Engineering Limited, who also own the MacFarlane brand.

During the restoration project, the company will take castings from the structure which will be used for future reinstatement projects across the world, including one planned on the South Atlantic island of St Helena.

Councillor John Fareham, Chairman of the Pearson Park Trust said:

“We were recently contacted by Heritage Engineering Limited with an interest in the taking casts of the design of the water fountain.

“This is a great opportunity to help the national heritage movement and, if approved, I believe this project will be a fantastic addition to the larger restoration work of Pearson Park we are hoping for with the Heritage Lottery fund”.

The fountain was installed in 1864 and produced by specialist fountain and bandstand producers Walter MacFarlane & Co and functioned as a working water fountain until the 1990’s when the water supply was isolated.

Some repair work including the repainting of the fountain was undertaken in 2008 by the Pearson Park Trust which saw the former white finish covered with a new blue and gold paint scheme.

The Listing Building Consent planning application will be submitted on Wednesday (8 June) with a decision expected in August. If successful, work will be done following the completion of workshop investigations.

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.

Residents invited to get involved in Beverley Road Heritage Scheme

Local residents, businesses, organisations and community groups are being invited to learn more about how they can get involved in the Beverley Road Townscape Heritage Scheme.

On Friday 13 May, a drop-in session will be held at Endeavour Learning and Skills Centre that will provide an update on the planned works over the lifetime of this five-year scheme, what has happened so far and how they can get involved.

There will also be the opportunity for people to join a formalised Stakeholder Group to meet on a regular basis and support the scheme and relevant activities and feedback on plans and proposals.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for the Beverley Road Town Heritage Initiative, said:

“This event offers anyone with an interest in this area of Beverley Road and its history to find out more about how to get involved in the scheme and find out what has been happening behind the scenes so far.

“I would also encourage people to consider joining the Stakeholder Group and ensure they have a real input into a scheme which will ultimately benefit them and residents and businesses around them in the future.

“Thanks to National Lottery players the scheme will have a positive impact on the Beverley Road conservation area and deliver much needed investment and heritage-led regeneration for one of the city’s most important historic gateways.”

Following the successful grant award by the Heritage Lottery Fund late last year and a meet the buyer event, for specialist contractors to express an interest in the scheme, behind the scenes work has started to procure a contractor to deliver a programme of boundary treatment works, which will include the repair and reinstatement of traditional railings and stone plinths at specific properties. 

Alongside this, with support from the council, property owners on Beverley Road have already started to complete grant application forms for the repair and reinstatement of traditional features on their buildings. Grants will cover up to 70% of the cost of these works, drastically reducing the investment needed by owners.

The scheme will also encapsulate community projects on the history of Beverley Road with community groups, local youth centres and schools all getting involved.

The drop-in session takes place this Friday 13 May 10am – 1pm and no appointment is necessary. Anyone unable to attend can speak to the project manager at Endeavour every Tuesday or set up a meeting at their convenience. Email or call 01482 612 553 for more information.

Hull Esteem appointed as Lead Developer for Hull New Theatre Refurbishment

Hull City Council is delighted to announce the appointment of the Esteem Consortium to carry out the full design and refurbishment of Hull New Theatre.

Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Stephen Brady, said:

“We are delighted that the full refurbishment works can now get underway at the theatre and I am confident that Esteem will be able to deliver a high-quality finish on one of the city’s key cultural venues.

“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 and this investment is part of our long-term plan to regenerate our economy, securing lasting benefits for the people of Hull and the region.”

Richard King, Chair of Hull Esteem said:

“We’re extremely proud to be supporting Hull City Council on this iconic project that will, once opened, attract new touring shows to the city and in turn, inward investment.”

This follows last month’s announcement of £5m towards the Hull New Theatre project from the Chancellor’s Budget in order to ensure that the works can be completed in 2017.

Trinity Market refurbishment gets the go-ahead

The refurbishment of Hull’s historic Trinity Indoor Market will now go ahead following approval at today’s planning committee.

The £1.6m refit of the Grade 2 listed building and extension will upgrade and repair the main market spaces, stalls and the Market Place frontage with the intention of creating a busy, vibrant indoor market.

The main market spaces will include new and refurbished food stall providing more opportunities for eating. The building on North Church Side opposite Holy Trinity Church will be developed into a restaurant.

Garry Taylor, City Major Projects Manager said:

“Trinity Indoor Market has a very long history in Hull and it is only right that as part of the regeneration of the city centre, the market also receives a facelift.

“Now we have the go-ahead we can get this project underway and create the sort of market the traders and residents of Hull can be proud of.”

The £1.6m project is funded predominantly by the LEP with £1.35m funding coming from the Regional Growth fund and the top up of £250k from the council’s capital programme budget.

Work will begin in the summer of this year, and is programmed to be ready summer 2017. Every effort is being made to ensure that disruption for traders is kept to a minimum.

Hull New Theatre project boost following cash injection

Following the warmly welcomed announcement in the Chancellor’s Budget of a direct £13m contribution to Hull’s UK City of Culture, with £5m specifically allocated to Hull New Theatre, this project will now progress and help to deliver on the Council’s ambition to become a world-class visitor destination.

Since its closure in January, specialists have been working at the theatre removing areas of asbestos and undertaking numerous technical surveys to provide a further detailed assessment of the building. This work could only be done when the theatre had closed and further surveys were needed to determine what structural and refurbishment work is required.

A crucial part of this scheme is to build a new 27m fly-tower, which is both incredibly challenging and needs specialist equipment available from a very limited number of suppliers. Due to the complexity of this work, further ongoing flood prevention planning work and the delay whilst he funding position was clarified, the planned re-opening of the theatre is confirmed for Summer 2017.

Once completed, the theatre will be one of the best and most advanced in the country, ensuring that theatre goers will be able to see some of the best shows on offer and enjoy a significantly enhanced experience. New café bars, a restaurant a will also be added to accommodate extra visitors.

Councillor Steven Bayes, Portfolio Holder for Visitor Destination said:

“As a Council we are making the biggest investment the city has seen in many years, both for 2017 and as part of a long-term plan to regenerate our economy, securing lasting benefits for the people of Hull and the region.

“We have now secured funding to undertake the improvements required which will result in the theatre reopening in the summer of 2017. The end product will be an excellent facility and something that will be a major attraction to residents and visitors to the city for many years.

“Investing in Hull’s cultural assets is a top priority for the Council and this project is a key element of the city’s lasting legacy of 2017, alongside improvements already underway at the Ferens Art Gallery, to our public realm and, in the longer term, the development of the Hull Venue and the city centre cruise terminal.

Martin Green, Chief Executive of Hull 2017 said:

“I am delighted that the full refurbishment of the theatre can now go ahead, offering the people of Hull and visitors an experience that is second to none.

“All of Hull’s cultural venues are an integral part of 2017 and we are working with the theatre to ensure that it plays a core role in our year-long events programme”.