The Hull Old Town Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) is a five year partnership between Historic England and the council that will realign Hull’s economy with tourism, culture and heritage.

The project builds further upon both the success of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture 2017 and on the work that has already been carried out to date to repurpose Hull’s Old Town by maximising occupancy within the city’s historic core and by promoting Hull’s historic fabric and cultural assets.

The HAZ will involve close working with local stakeholders and partners to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Linking the waterfront areas to the Old Town by establishing nodal points on the visitor journey
  • Increasing engagement and involving a wider range of individuals, groups and communities within activities related to the Old Town’s heritage
  • Establishing an Old Town Brand to reinforce the Old Town’s unique historical and architectural character
  • Developing the 16th Century South Blockhouse as a visitor attraction
  • Identifying new opportunities to grow tourism
  • De-risking and bringing historic buildings back into use to support additional residential and business capacity within the Old Town

HAZ Progress to date

  • A strategy for de-risking historic buildings and repurposing vacant floorspace in the Old Town (in line with the newly adopted Local Plan) is helping to identify key targets. Historic England and the council are meeting owners and developers who are looking at investing in sites in the Old Town. We have also initiated a research-led student placement with the University of Hull to help scope options for improving the frontages on Whitefriargate.
  • Developing the South Blockhouse will create a new stepping stone between The Deep and the Old Town. This project literally took off in summer 2017 with aerial drone footage of local schoolchildren getting involved in the work to mark out the walls of the South Blockhouse on the ground.
  • Planning has already started for featuring the HAZ within the 2018 Heritage Open Day publication. The council and Historic England will deliver talks and activities as part of the week long programme that gives people the chance to discover and experience Hull’s fantastic historic assets. We are also working with partners to explore new ways to grow tourism in the area and ensure strong links with the HLF ‘Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City’ project.

Who is involved?

  • Hull City Council
  • Historic England
  • £1.6m investment


The project launched in March 2017 and will run until March 2022.

Further information

Old Town Grants Scheme

The Old Town Grant Scheme was introduced by the council and Humber LEP to encourage new businesses to open in the Old Town and to enable current businesses to expand. The project has been a tremendous success, having provided assistance to over 35 businesses to date.

The scheme is part of the council’s wider commitment to repurpose the Old Town and complements the revitalisation of Trinity Indoor Market and the ongoing development work to re-introduce a regular outdoor market at the Market Square.


Trinity Indoor Market is central to the wider project of re-purposing the Old Town, delivering a vision where the city’s medieval heart is brimming with vibrant pubs, cafes and bars around a re-energised Market Square and some of the best small museums in the country.

The revitalisation of the food sales area has introduced hot food stalls alongside traditional grocery stalls to support an increasingly popular street food offer. As well as contributing significantly to the vibrant local food economy, the new offer will also support increased employment and training opportunities.

Market stalls and facilities have been upgraded and the redesigned ceiling now allows light to flood over the railway style arches and down onto the stalls, These improvements have made the market a much more appealing and inviting shopping atmosphere that complements the adjoining Victorian Hepworths Arcade.

It is anticipated that the provision of a wider range of market stalls will encourage business start ups and create a more diverse shopping area. Recent improvements to the public realm, including the provision of new outdoor electricity points, will also encourage more regular street markets.

Who is involved?

  • Hull City Council
  • Humber LEP
  • £6.2m investment including
    • £1.6m scheme for the refurbishment of Trinity Market (£1.35m Humber LEP, £250,000 Hull City Council capital)
    • £1.6m additional grant funding (Humber LEP and private sector match)
    • £3m public realm scheme including Trinity Square and new outdoor market infrastructure including £1.76 Hull City Council capital, £850,000 Humber LEP and £400,000 from Holy Trinity Church)

Further information