Have your say on Freeman Street's future as recent land 'reclaim' is discussed

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 11 Apr 2018

The Freemen of Grimsby aim to breathe new life in to Grimsby’s most famous street - starting with a workshop on Friday

During the height of the fishing industry Freeman Street came to symbolise the heart and soul of the town but in more recent times 'Freemo' has suffered decline. 

Now, The Enrolled Freemen of Grimsby, a charity that can be traced back to 11th century, wants to breathe new life in to this once proud street.

On Friday, a day-long special event starting at 9.30am will be held at The Business Hub, Freeman Street Market.

Hodson Architects is based in Cleethorpes, and has been appointed by The Freemen to organise the workshop to explore the future of Freeman Street.  It comes after a High Court ruling in February which enabled the Freemen to acquire around four acres of largely derelict but highly prominent land fronting 'Freemo'.

MORE: Regeneration boost as High Court puts Grimsby shopping precinct back in Freemen's hands

The site is next to the existing Freeman Street Market and Business Hub which is owned and operated by The Freemen and includes the former seven-storey council office building and House of Holland store, a range of shop units and car park. Just behind the site are the six 16-storey East Marsh flats which are currently being demolished by shoreline Housing Partnership following the earlier demolition of neighbouring Comber Place.

"The Freemen of Grimsby have a long, proud and successful association with the town," chairman of the Freemen, Stephen White said. "For many people, Freeman Street is a special place but sadly has been on a progressive decline since the demise of the fishing industry.  We want to give Freeman Street a future and once again create a place where people want to visit, live, work and enjoy."

The handed back site, zoned in red, immediately north of Freeman Street Market.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together a wide variety of people and organisations with diverse interests in the area to look at issues, discuss possibilities and identify a way forward.  This includes businesses; residents; voluntary and community organisations as well as local authority and public agencies. 

Mark Hodson said: "The acquisition of the former shopping centre and the demolition of the East Marsh flats is a unique opportunity to look at the future of Freeman Street in the wider context of the East Marsh area.  At the heart of this must be the community and the workshop will help to establish a base for future action and creative solutions.

"At the workshop we will hear from a range of speakers with knowledge and experience and then focus on specific trends which will lead in to structured discussion and ways forward. We want stakeholders to think about how we can all work together to achieve real change in the area."

Chairman of residents' action group, East Marsh United, Dr Billy Dasein, said: "East Marsh United is very pleased to be part of something that benefits the people of the East Marsh. We are excited to make our contribution and to learn from others about how we can once again make the East Marsh a vibrant, creative and welcoming place to be."  

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