Hull council to spend £2.8m buying BHS and Edwin Davis buildings - and then knocking them down
An image of how the new Albion Square development might look
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 18 Oct 2017
The city council is set to spend £2.8m on kick-starting a huge new regeneration project in the city centre.
Council funding will be used to acquire and demolish a cluster of empty buildings, including the former BHS, Co-op and Edwin Davis stores.
The authority then plans to hand over the site to a development partner to build a proposed new ice rink, retail units and housing together with a multi-storey car park.
It's hoped the scheme could create about 470 jobs when finished and be worth £130m to the local economy.
The same approach was used to pave the way for the St. Stephen's shopping centre and transport interchange project a decade ago.
A section of the internal fish mosaic in the old Co-op building
Council officials say they expect the Albion Square scheme will take between three and five years to come to fruition.
Concept images of the development were released by the council last month.
They included the idea of preserving the iconic Three Ships mosaic on the front of the disused BHS store in a glazed atrium overlooking the new-look King Edward Square.
Now the council's cabinet will be asked to approve the latest steps towards acquiring the empty buildings when it meets next week.
A new courtyard and retail space in Albion Square
As well as earmarking a £2.8m budget for the scheme, councillors will also be recommended to start a tendering process to find a development partner.
Deputy city council leader Councillor Daren Hale said: "There is a need to strategically acquire sites of interest where they serve the councils' wider regenerative interests.
"This is clearly the case with the Co-op and Edwin Davis sites.
The former Edwin Davis department store in Bond Street
"The private sector on its own has singularly failed to bring schemes to the market for sites that blight the centre of Hull.
"I am clear that the public sector lever needs to bring the issues of land assembly and development togethger.
"With the option of external Humber Local Enterprise Partnership funding and possible retail suitors, this scheme has the real chance of finishing the city centre regeneration once and for all."