Engineering awards recognise creation of Hull’s stunning Stage @TheDock amphitheatre

The creation of Hull’s stunning Stage @TheDock amphitheatre has been recognised as one of the region’s most outstanding civil engineering projects.

The venue, developed within the historic Central Dry Dock, received a certificate of commendation, having been shortlisted in the prestigious Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Yorkshire and Humber Awards 2017. The awards are for projects of regional importance and quality in terms of achievement, excellence or innovation in civil engineering.

The amphitheatre was nominated for the Smeaton Award, for projects with a capital value of between £500k and £5m.

Opened in summer 2016, Stage @TheDock was developed by Hull-based regeneration company Wykeland Group. It forms part of the £15m @TheDock development in Hull’s Fruit Market quarter, which has the highly-successful Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub as its centrepiece.

The 350-seat amphitheatre was the only permanent new venue created in Hull ahead of the city’s year as the nation’s cultural capital and is a major part of Wykeland’s contribution as a Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Major Partner.

Having been used as a key location during last year’s Humber Street Sesh and Freedom Festival, as well as hosting the 2016 Hull and East Yorkshire Digital Awards, Stage@TheDock is set to be a showpiece venue during the City of Culture year.

The ICE award nomination recognised the contributions of Wykeland, consulting engineers Alan Wood & Partners, architects Enjoy Design and contractors Hobson & Porter.

Wykeland Managing Director Dominic Gibbons said: “The development of the amphitheatre within the Central Dry Dock was a highly challenging project and its successful delivery is a tribute to the imagination and expertise of all involved.

“We’re delighted that we have been able to bring the dry dock back to life after it had been derelict for many years. The amphitheatre is a stunning new area of public realm and a spectacular venue for cultural, artistic, community and business events. It also forms a key element of our @TheDock development and has contributed significantly to the ongoing regeneration of the Fruit Market.

“This project has given Hull a superb cultural and community asset while preserving a key part of the city’s maritime heritage.”

Peter Drenon, Director of Hull-based Alan Wood & Partners, said: “The Grade II listed dry dock facility, built in 1843, is a significant part of the industrial heritage of the city of Hull and an important cultural asset.

“It has been a huge privilege for Alan Wood & Partners to be part of the team involved in taking this inspirational idea and turning it into a performance venue for public use. The public can now not only see, touch and feel the historical attributes of the dry dock but also enjoy open air performances of wide cultural diversity.”

Andrew Newton, Director of Enjoy Design, said: “Our brief was to design a quality external public space that could be enjoyed by everyone as well as become a venue for outdoor events.

“Working with the rest of the design team, we feel that the resultant amphitheatre space delivers a high quality and innovative design where the public realm enhances not only the grade II listed dry dock but also the architecture of the C4DI and the phase two buildings in the @TheDock development.“

Mike Beal, Construction Director of Hull-based Hobson & Porter, said: “We were delighted to work on this special project in preparation for the City of Culture 2017.

“Rarely do we get an opportunity to be involved in something as iconic as the dry dock amphitheatre, installed in such a unique and challenging environment. We are extremely proud to have been part of the delivery team.”

The ICE accolade is the latest acclaim for the amphitheatre and @TheDock development, including a Good Mark award from the Hull Civic Society.

The winner of the Smeaton Award in the ICE Yorkshire and Humber Awards was Yorkshire Water’s improvement works to the grade II-listed Butterley Spillway at Marsden, in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

The teams behind all the winning and commended projects were presented with their awards by Professor Tim Broyd, the President of ICE, at a gala dinner at the National Railway Museum in York. 

Stage @TheDock is managed on Wykeland’s behalf by Hull’s Freedom Festival Arts Trust. For information about hiring the venue, call Jenny Howard-Coombes on 01482 304080 or e-mail jenny@freedomfestival.co.uk