Hull’s Fruit Market has today received a cash boost after a successful bid to the Coastal Communities Fund.
The £700,000 grant will see the ever-popular Fruit at 62-63 Humber Street refurbished across all three floors and transformed into a multi-use arts and performance venue with attached gallery and café.
The top two floors, not currently open to the public, will be brought back into use and turned into a multi-media arts space with creative studios, whilst the ground floor will be transformed into a gallery and state-of-the-art sound-proofed performance venue.
This announcement follows a £800,000 grant from the same fund back in 2014 to kick-start the refurbishment of 10 warehouses into flexible space for galleries, offices and independent retail and hospitality units, which have since flourished.
This funding was matched by Hull City Council with a total of £4m capital funding invested over recent years into the buildings as part of a wider £80m regeneration of the Fruit Market led by principal partners Wykeland Beal.
Councillor Daren Hale, Deputy Leader of Hull City Council and Chair of the Fruit Market LLP said: “We are delighted to have secured this further funding from the Coastal Communities Fund to continue to breathe new life into the Fruit Market.
“Humber Street and the surrounding marina are very special to Hull and to see this continue to be recognised nationally is fantastic.
“The redevelopment of the Fruit Market has been a priority for the council for many years and we can see how it is already playing a huge part in the regeneration of the city centre.”
The transformation of the Fruit Market as Hull’s first urban village is being delivered by Wykeland Beal, the joint venture company formed by regeneration company Wykeland Group and housebuilder Beal Homes, working in partnership with Hull City Council.
It includes new and refurbished commercial, retail and leisure space centred on Humber Street, complemented by a development of 101 new mews-style homes around private courtyards, due to start construction by the summer.
Dominic Gibbons, Managing Director of Wykeland, said: “This grant is excellent news. It is a further recognition of the importance of the redevelopment of the Fruit Market as an engine for the economic, cultural and social regeneration of Hull and a vote of confidence from the Government in the progress of the project.
“These funds will enable the complete refurbishment of a key building in Humber Street with first-class facilities for a range of artistic and creative uses.
“The works will contribute strongly to the rejuvenation of the Fruit Market by creating a hub for the creative arts, building upon the popularity of Fruit as a performance and events venue.
“The refurbished building will also add to the appeal of the Fruit Market as both a visitor destination and a location for business investment. It will support the growth of a diverse mix of existing and new businesses in the Fruit Market, drive footfall into the area and help to ensure it is alive with energy and activity throughout the day and into the evening.”
This success further illustrates the role of Hull city centre as the key economic driver for the East Yorkshire and Humber region, recognising the contribution the city is making to the Northern Powerhouse.