£1.2m Kasbah cash injection launch looms for docks regeneration

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 9 May 2019

Details have been revealed about the Kasbah Partnership Grant Scheme, a £1.2 million pot to help regenerate the Grimsby Docks buildings. 

The Heritage Action Zone Project will offer grants for repairs and reinstatements of historical external features in the cluster which sits between Royal Dock and Port of Grimsby East, with up to £150,000 available for 90 identified buildings. 

It can cover up to 70 per cent of the total project costs.

North East Lincolnshire Council and Historic England are both contributing £500,000, with a further £200,000 worth of rental holidays to be issued by owner Associated British Ports, spanning a five-year negotiable period for prospective tenants should they take on a project. 

The scheme, first revealed last May, will be officially launched at the end of the month, with a preview given at Investment Hub NEL’s spring networking event. 

“There are 90 buildings, and we cannot fund all of them - we only have £1 million of grant funding,” Stella Jackson, Heritage Action Zone manager for North East Lincolnshire Council’s regeneration partner, Engie, said. “We are very positive about this, there will be lots of people taking on leases.” 

Read more: The 13 projects revealed which will help transform docks and Kasbah in 'dream' £3.7m regeneration

The scheme will support economic re-use of heritage assets that are both listed and unlisted, with two other significant developments further outlined.

Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust is to work with the authority, Engie and ABP to reinstate Petersons smoke house, with repair and restoration required, while a marine support centre will also be established. 

“It is on hold until we find some funding,” Mrs Jackson said. The proposal is to create a place were small contractor companies can pitch up at when working with the bigger organisations, when they may no have anywhere obvious to go. “They may be just left in Grimsby, they may not be able to get a hotel as they may not be here for a night, but it would be somewhere to have a nap, work and have something to eat,” she said. It may span several buildings in the Kasbah.

The Ice Factory “could be something exciting, hopefully very soon,” she enthused, while telling how a competition to find a new use for the Victoria Mills silo - rescued and renovated by NELC - was “on hold at the moment, but we are still working on it”.  

Neighbouring Corporation Road Bridge also needs “a bit of investment,” to see it removed from a risk register of heritage assets.

Garth Lane was also highlighted, so too Grimsby Central Library, with a suggestion it could be integrated and developed, with the potential to move as part of longer term visioning plans for higher education in Grimsby town centre.

It comes as Prime Minister Theresa May has given the Grimsby Town Deal a further vote of confidence, having visited North East Lincolnshire twice in five weeks, the latest to meet the successful Conservative councillors who have taken control of the authority.

Freeman Street investment close to completion

AN “extremely credible anchor tenant” is close to bringing a £7.1 million investment to Freeman Street, it has been revealed.

Jonathan Goolden, clerk to the Enrolled Freemen, told how a confidence-inspiring deal was almost done for the junction with Kent Street, where House of Holland once sat.

Modern offices and eco-friendly housing has been outlined, as well as a proposal for a community stadium beyond. 

Interest is immediately focussed on the second block in from this visual of Riby Square and the top of Freeman Street.

“It is a positive statement of ambition for the area,” the town solicitor said, unable to give any further detail on the end user in a scheme that has brought the suggestion of further hotel provision close to the docks too.

Of the wider vision, shared in the video first aired at Grimsby Renewables Partnership’s 2019 conference in May, Mr Goolden said: “If you don’t create waves you don’t get results. It has crucially provided a good and healthy debate about how that site could be used.”

A vision for Freeman Street

Freeman House, pictured below, has just come down, following the high rise flats and northern area of the precinct handed back to the freemen in a high court action pursued by the Wilkin Chapman regulatory partner and Icelandic consul.

“We can learn from our friends across the water,” he said referring to Hull. “If you hear people say ‘Freeman Street - really?’ just remember how Humber Street in the Fruit Market was once like.”

Read more: Optimism abounds as plans follow Town Deal signing

Referencing the ‘three day millionaire’ fishermen returning in the street’s heyday, he said: “There were all types of people on Freemen Street who would help them spend in all types of ways. It was always a gritty and colourful street and should remain so. We are not here to gentrify it, we are here to maintain the colour and distinctiveness. We can see the potential of how these schemes are starting to link up, starting at the Kasbah and concluding at Garth Lane. Rob Walsh (NELC chief executive) uses the phrase ‘banging the drum’ I’m banging the drum, the opportunity is now.” 

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