Henry VIII Hull Fortress rediscovered to celebrate Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology

A fortress built for King Henry VIII in Hull in the mid 16th century will be rediscovered this week as Humber Field Archaeology mark out the lines of its buried walls.

The activity, which will be open to the public Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 July 10am – 4pm, is will coincide with the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology and will include not only the marking out of the exact footprint of the old building, but also the display of some of the items found at a previous dig in the area and information about the South Blockhouse and its role in the defence of Hull from the 16th century onwards.

Pupils from Victoria Dock Primary School pupils will be on site (Wednesday) to learn more about the site so close to their school and have the chance to take part in activities with specialist community archaeologist from Historic England, Jon Kenny.

The potential development of the South Blockhouse as a visitor attraction has been included as part of the Hull Old Town Heritage Action Zone, an initiative funded by Historic England to help make heritage a key part of the city’s regeneration.

Members of the public will be able to speak to members of the Humber Field Archaeology Team about the history of the site, the finds and plans for the future.

The Blockhouse walls will be marked out again in September as part of Heritage Open Days, when some excavations will take place.

Hull’s Pearson Park receives £3m National Lottery award

Hull City Council is delighted to announce the bid to transform Pearson Park has been successful, with a £3m National Lottery grant, under the Parks for People scheme.

The successful bid will mean that the following refurbishment and reinstatement works will now take place:

  • Rebuild of the conservatory
  • Restoration of the historic archway entrance to the park
  • The restoration and repairs to the Grade II listed East Lodge, providing new office, meeting and storage space
  • Reconfiguration of grounds around the East Lodge to provide a community healthy living garden
  • Improvement works to the Bowling Pavilion
  • Improvement works to the ice cream kiosk
  • Reinstatement of Bandstand
  • Reinstatement of the bridge over the lake
  • Improvement works to the landscape

The grant award will also fund a five-year activity plan to provide new educational and training opportunities that will benefit local residents and look to increase community engagement with the park.

Councillor John Fareham, Chairman of the Pearson Park Trust and Project Steering Group said:

“I am absolutely delighted with this announcement and would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund for seeing the huge potential we have at Pearson Park.

“A lot of people have put many hours of hard work into this bid and it’s fantastic to see it pay off for them. The Pearson Park Trust, Pearson family descendants and council officers in particular have offered so much commitment and support throughout this bid – huge thanks must be given to them.

“Pearson Park will be Hull’s first People’s Park and this investment will totally transform the park, restoring many of the key features lost over the years.”

Councillor Terry Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism said:

“This is great news for the park and the city as yet more investment continues to pour in. Huge thanks must go to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery Fund and also the National Lottery players who help to fund projects like this.

“The council remains committed to the investing in cultural regeneration and the restoration of Pearson Park, alongside the countless other projects taking place across the city at the moment that will help to put Hull on the map a world-class destination, bringing investment, jobs and prosperity to the city.”

HLF’s Chief Executive Ros Kerslake, said, on behalf of HLF and Big Lottery Fund:

“It’s difficult to overstate the importance of our public parks. Vital to our well-being and essential to biodiversity, they are highly valued spaces enjoyed daily by people from all walks of life.

“Pearson Park is one of the latest parks to benefit from over £900million of National Lottery funding, which over the last twenty years has played a crucial role in revitalising more than 800 parks across the UK.”

The project had already received a development grant of £156,600 from the HLF and Big Lottery Fund, and work has started to take place in the park to restore the historic MacFarlane drinking fountain bowl.

Plans for the regeneration of the park were approved at the council’s Planning Committee in preparation for the final bid, meaning the procurement for the construction work on the restoration can begin quickly.

For more information about the Pearson Park, Parks for People project, visit www.cityplanhull.co.uk.

Council more than doubles number of Changing Places facilities in the city

Hull City Council is to introduce Changing Places facilities to new and refurbished venues, as well as in Extra Care buildings to ensure that the city is accessible for everyone.

As Disability Awareness Day takes place across the country this Sunday (16 July) and Changing Places Awareness Day approaches on Wednesday 19 July, the council has announced that the facilities will be installed into new and refurbished venues including Hull New Theatre, Trinity Indoor Market, Hull Venue and Woodford Leisure Centre.

Alongside these city centre venues, new Extra Care facilities at Harrison Park on Orchard Park and Cecil Gardens on Hawthorne Ave include full Changing Places facilities and these will be open during public access times, whilst Redwood Glades on Leads Road will open in the Autumn.

Currently there are four Changing Places in the city, two of which are council run. The new additions will more than double the number of available locations across the city, opening up additional facilities for those who may need them.

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment, Regeneration and Planning said:

“The council has committed a huge amount of capital funding to ensure the city is well-equipped for anyone living in or visiting the city to be able enjoy a whole host of attractions.

“By installing Changing Places we can ensure these venues can be enjoyed by everyone without any concerns.

“We’re delighted to be able to install the facilities and contribute to the growing number across the country, with almost 1,000 already registered with the Changing Places Consortium across the country.”

The new facilities are supported by the consortium and have been designed in accordance with official policy and design agreement.

It is expected the first of the new facilities will open with Hull New Theatre in September, followed by Trinity Market towards the end of the year, with Woodford and Hull Venue following in 2018.

Telling the story of Yorkshire’s Maritime City

Hull City Council has been awarded £15m of National Lottery money to help secure Hull’s future as a major UK tourist destination.  Building on its success as UK City of Culture 2017, this historic maritime city will reclaim and share every element of its past by developing three important sites: the Maritime Museum; the Dock Office Chambers and the North End Shipyard; and two historic vessels, the Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship. 

Ros Kerslake, CEO of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:

“This is the perfect moment for Hull to benefit from a £15m investment from the National Lottery.  Its profile has already been substantially raised by the ongoing UK City of Culture activities and this new funding will now enable an in-depth exploration of its maritime heritage. With a greater understanding of the wider Hull story we hope local people will feel proud of their great city’s past and optimistic about its resurgence moving forwards.”  

This place-making project, which firmly places Hull’s maritime heritage at its centre, will be developed and delivered over the next seven years; it is part of a wider plan to regenerate the city.  It will look back to Hull’s history as a trading and fishing port and then take the story onwards to the present and beyond.  

Following on from its ongoing £100m investment in the city’s cultural and visitor infrastructure, Hull City Council will provide a further £12.5m towards the project from its capital programme.

John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said:
“This £15m investment will help Hull build an enduring legacy from its fantastic year as UK City of Culture, as I was able to observe first hand on my visit to the city last week. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will ensure that Hull’s unique seafaring history will not only be protected, but used to help fulfil its goal to become one of the top tourist destinations in the country.”

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

“Today’s announcement is a huge vote of confidence in our city and another major step towards achieving one of the key ambitions of our City Plan to make Hull a world-class visitor destination.  My heartfelt thanks go to National Lottery players – it couldn’t have happened without them.”

The project will create at least 20 new jobs, increased visitor numbers and a volunteer programme to raise awareness and pride in Hull’s maritime history.  

The project has five core elements:

• Hull Maritime Museum will be reconfigured and visitors given access to one of the building domes which has spectacular views over the city and Humber.  There will be a 50% increase of the number of items on public view.
• The Dock Office Chambers will be converted into a state-of-the-art home for the maritime collection.
• The Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship will undergo full conservation before being relocated. The former will be permanently berthed in a dry dock at the North End Shipyard and the latter returned to Hull Marina. Both will have on-board exhibitions and updated displays.  
• A visitor orientation centre will be built at the North End Shipyard on Dock Office Row.

Councillor Brady added:

“This is a major investment which will conserve and showcase Hull’s maritime heritage and allow the city to develop its already strong cultural and tourism offer, ensuring that visitors continue to flock to Hull well beyond our time as UK City of Culture.

“Just as important, this investment will allow the city to celebrate and reflect on its past, present and future as Yorkshire’s Maritime City. Drawing on the unique spirit of local people, it is another example of how Hull is flourishing and prospering through the regeneration and development of its proud heritage.”

£700,000 boost for Hull’s cultural quarter

Hull’s Fruit Market has today received a cash boost after a successful bid to the Government’s Coastal Communities fund.

£700,000 will see the ever-popular Fruit, 62-63 Humber Street, refurbished across all three floors and transformed into a multi-use arts and performance venue with attached cafe.

The top two floors, not currently open to the public, will be brought back into use and turned into a multi-media arts space with creative studios, whilst the ground floor will be transformed into a gallery and state-of-the-art soundproofed performance venue.

This announcement follows a £800,000 grant from the same fund back in 2014 to kick-start the refurbishment of 10 warehouses into flexible space for galleries, offices and independent retail and hospitality units, which have since flourished.

This funding was matched by the council with a total of £4m capital funding invested over recent years into the buildings and as part of a wider £80m regeneration of the Fruit Market led by principal partners Wykeland Beal.

Councillor Daren Hale, Deputy Leader of Hull City Council and Chair of the Fruit Market LLP said:

“We are delighted to have secured this further funding from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund to continue to breathe new life into the Fruit Market.

“Humber Street and the surrounding marina are very special to Hull and to see this continue to be recognised nationally is fantastic.

“The redevelopment of the Fruit Market has been a priority for the council for many years and we can see how it is already playing a huge part in the regeneration of the city centre.”

The transformation of the Fruit Market as Hull’s first urban village is being delivered by Wykeland Beal, the joint venture company formed by regeneration company Wykeland Group and housebuilder Beal Homes, working in partnership with Hull City Council.

It includes new and refurbished commercial, retail and leisure space centred on Humber Street, complemented by a development of 101 new mews-style homes around private courtyards, due to start construction by the summer.

Dominic Gibbons, Managing Director of Wykeland, said:

“This grant is excellent news. It is a further recognition of the importance of the redevelopment of the Fruit Market as an engine for the economic, cultural and social regeneration of Hull and a vote of confidence from the Government in the progress of the project.

“These funds will enable the complete refurbishment of a key building in Humber Street with first-class facilities for a range of artistic and creative uses.

“The works will contribute strongly to the rejuvenation of the Fruit Market by creating a hub for the creative arts, building upon the popularity of Fruit as a performance and events venue.

“The refurbished building will also add to the appeal of the Fruit Market as both a visitor destination and a location for business investment. It will support the growth of a diverse mix of existing and new businesses in the Fruit Market, drive footfall into the area and help to ensure it is alive with energy and activity throughout the day and into the evening.”

This success further illustrates the role of Hull city centre as the key economic driver for the East Yorkshire and Humber region, recognising the contribution the city is making to the Northern Powerhouse.

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 panel@hullcc.gov.uk. None members can also complete this survey using the same web link.


*15 per cent said ‘no’, 24 per cent said ‘don’t know’

City unites to mark Wilberforce’s important legacy

William Wilberforce will be artistically lit for the first time as the city unites to celebrate the 210th anniversary of passing of the Slave Trade Act 1807 (25 March).

Hull City Council, Hull University and the William Wilberforce Monument Fund will come together to celebrate one of the city’s most renowned sons William Wilberforce.

Following the launch of the University’s Virtual William (pr attached), a congregation will visit Queen’s Gardens this Thursday evening where the Freedom Chorus will serenade the lighting of the Wilberforce Monument as streetlights and Hull College lights are dimmed.

As a key component in the council’s £25m transformation of the city centre, Wilberforce will be the first monument to be lit as part of the council and art lighting specialist Nayan Kulkarni’s ‘Sculptures in the Sky’ project.

The scheme, together with sister project ‘the Golden Hour’, will shine a brand new light on some of the city’s most recognisable sculptures and buildings, as well as offering the opportunity  for countless lighting displays to coincide with special events and significant dates.

Council submits options for future of city swim and ice provision

Hull City Council has today published a report, the first step in a process, to consider the future provision of swimming pool and ice skating facilities in Hull.

Councillors will discuss consider the report at Economic and Regeneration Scrutiny and Cabinet meetings on Thursday 23 March and Monday 27 March respectively, will look at the future investment strategy on the facilities, including possible investment in a new city centre ice arena. It recommends the council develops an investment strategy that will meet the needs of the city whilst providing opportunities to save money and increase income.

Following feasibility studies carried out in 2014 and 15, a number of options will be discussed with regard to swimming provision. The preferred recommendation is to retain all current facilities including Woodford, Ennerdale, Beverley Road and Albert Avenue, with a change of use of Albert Avenue’s second smaller pool hall into a multi-use area.

Deputy Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Daren Hale said:

“At a time when other councils struggle to maintain these facilities, it is great news that we will be looking to retain our neighbourhood facilities, and looking at the feasibility of a new Ice Arena.”

The report puts forward options for the current provision at Hull Arena, highlighting that further consideration be given to exploring a new ice rink in an alternative city centre location. The report acknowledges that the current arena is in poor physical condition due to its age and would require major investment for a full refurbishment. If closed for an extended period losses would be further compounded by loss of income.

Preferred new sites include Colonial St and Bond St as they are central, accessible and close to public transport links.

To ensure continuity in ice skating provision for the city, Hull Arena would remain open until the new site was complete, at which time the Kingston St centre would then be demolished.

If authorised, the report will enable a detailed investment strategy to be developed for full consideration by Cabinet in September 2017.

Residents invited to give their views on school extension

Residents are being asked to offer their views on plans to extend Kingswood Parks Primary School.

In order to meet the already growing and projected pupil place application increase, the council plans to expand the school to provide places for 630 pupils and 52 (full-time equivalent) FTE nursery places.

Currently the school has a capacity of 390 pupils and a 39 FTE place nursery following some minor re-modelling works in summer 2016 where temporary mobile accommodation was brought in to meet the high demand for places.

Consultation for the plans are split into two parts. The first part is an opportunity to comment on the proposed design of the extensions ahead of a planning application to the council. Plans and proposals will be on display at drop-in sessions:

  • Tuesday 7 February, 3.30 – 6.30pm at Kingswood Parks Health Centre
  • Wednesday 8 February, 2.30 – 5:30pm at Kingswood Parks Primary School

Staff will be on hand to answer any questions about the proposals and there will be opportunities to feed back.

The second part of consultation is for Department for Education approval to the expansion. Feedback on this section of the consultation is open for a six-week period from 7 February to 21 March and can be given at the drop-in sessions. Alternatively, to request more information and a feedback form, residents can call the team on 01482 612 550 or email MajorProjects@hullcc.gov.uk.

Councillor Phil Webster, Portfolio Holder for Learning, Skills and Safeguarding Children said:

“The plans to expand Kingswood Park Primary School will ensure that there are enough places to accommodate the growing number of families moving to this popular area.

“I would encourage as many residents as possible to feed back on the plans and ensure that their views are heard.”

If plans are approved, it is expected that extension will be in place for September 2018.

The extension will provide additional classrooms, group rooms, play space, small hall, studio, staff room and associated toilet provision. It will also see the existing hall extended, the existing Foundation Unit remodelled and the external play areas, car park and multi-use games area altered.

Plans for Pearson Park given the green light

Plans for the regeneration of Pearson Park have today been approved at the council’s Planning Committee.

The decision now means that if the bid to Heritage Lottery Fund is successful, funds would transform the park and bring back period features lost over recent years.

Today’s decision has agreed:

  • The restoration and repairs to the Grade II listed East Lodge, providing new office, meeting and storage space
  • Reconfiguration of grounds around the East Lodge to provide a community healthy living garden
  • Improvement works to the Bowling Pavilion
  • Improvement works to the ice cream kiosk
  • Reinstatement of Bandstand
  • Reinstatement of the bridge over the lake
  • Improvement works to the landscape

Councillor John Fareham, Chairman of the Pearson Park Trust and Project Steering Group said:

“Today’s decision is a positive step forward in our plans for Pearson Park and brings us even closer to realising our ambitions of bringing this fantastic park back to its former glory.

“The transformation of Pearson Park would be a wonderful addition for the local community and we will continue to work closely with the Heritage Lottery Fund until the result of the bid is announced later this year.”

Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Stephen Brady said:

“As a council we are committed to investing in cultural regeneration and it’s projects like the restoration of Pearson Park that will help to put Hull on the map a world-class destination, bringing investment, jobs and prosperity to the city.”

This decision follows one made in January to restore the entrance to the park and to demolish and re-build the conservatory.

The restoration project has already been awarded initial support* for a grant of £2.3m by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as well as a development grant of £156,600.  An announcement from the HLF on the outcome of the Pearson Park bid is expected in 2017.

More information on the proposals to restore Pearson Park is available at www.hullcc.gov.uk/ppbid