Big plans for one of the last warehouses standing in Humber Street

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 30 Nov 2017

One of the last remaining empty warehouses in Hull's Humber Street is set for a new lease of life.

The former Humber Fruit Brokers building occupies a prime spot next to the junction with Pier Street.

New plans for the property include a range of possible uses, including shops, restaurants, an art gallery and offices.

READ MORE: Start date for long-awaited Castle Street bridge revealed

If given the go-ahead by councillors next week, the proposals also feature the installation of the first ATM cash machine in the Fruit Market area.

The Wesley Hall chapel which stood on the site of the Humber Fruit Brokers building before being bombed during the Second World War

The property stands on the site of a former chapel which was destroyed by bombing in the Second World War.

Built in 1832, the chapel was converted into an auction room for fruit traders in the early 20th century. Its post-war replacement was operated by the same family business until the 1990s.

More recently the ground floor of the building was used as an antiques salesroom and gallery before conversion work started on Humber Street's other former wholesale fruit warehouses.

During the City of Culture year it has hosted temporary art installations and was one of the main venues hosting the GF Smith Paper City show in June.

Part of the Paper City art installation inside the old Humber Fruit Brokers building earlier this year

After being owned by the same family for most of the last century, it was recently acquired by the Wykeland Group, the main developer behind the Fruit Market regeneration programme.

The change of use application by Wykeland says the building's ground floor will be divided into two units for new commercial use complete with new glazed shopfronts.

Subject to approval, the upper floor will be largely unaltered although new toilet facilities will be added.

The application says: "The proposals breathe new life into a building that has been underused and allowed to deteriorate physically for many years.

"A key part to the proposals include the introduction of two new glass shop fronts, which have been designed to so as not to be at odds with the prevailing character of the building while at the same time mirroring the shop fronts that have recently been introduced elsewhere in Humber Street.

The proposed new courtyard performance space at Fruit in Humber Street

"The proposed refurbishment of the building’s shell fabric, and minor internal alterations will bring about an improvement to the facilities and amenities offered to the building’s users and occupiers.

"When viewed in isolation these proposals are wholly beneficial. When viewed as part of the wider ongoing Fruit Market refurbishment, the benefits are exponential as they also catalyze other development as part of this wider impetus."

Council planning officers are recommending approval for the change of use when councillors meet to discuss the scheme next week.

Last month Wykeland submitted separate plans to give the nearby Fruit venue a £3.5m facelift with the addition of a new art gallery and cafe, a 300-capacity performance area, a courtyard, upper floor workshops and studio space and a new building fronting Wellington Street featuring six ground floor units and eleven apartments.

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