Fruit Market regeneration inspires schoolchildren to get creative

Fruit Market regeneration inspires schoolchildren to get creative

Children from an inner-city Hull primary school are unleashing their creativity, inspired by the innovative spirit flowing through the city’s Fruit Market.

Taking their lead from the entrepreneurs, creatives and artists at the forefront of the regeneration of the Fruit Market, the children are developing their creative thinking and business acumen in a unique project launched by the Wykeland Beal joint venture company.

The initiative involves children from Chiltern Primary School in Chiltern Street, off the Boulevard, west Hull, learning about the exciting rejuvenation of the Fruit Market and being mentored by executives from Wykeland Beal to turn their creative ideas into products.

Wykeland Beal has been formed by two long-established local companies, commercial developer Wykeland Group and housebuilder Beal Homes, to drive forward the transformation of the Fruit Market, working in partnership with Hull City Council.

Wykeland Beal has commissioned the ambitious, multi-layered project to give the school and its pupils the opportunity to benefit from Hull’s largest urban regeneration scheme.

The project, called “Go See! Go 3D!”, is structured in two parts, beginning with the youngsters making a series of visits to professionals working in the Fruit Market and taking part in hands-on workshops to learn new skills. Phase two sees the children invent their own products, working with the project’s Lead Artist Simon Crook, experts from the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub in the Fruit Market and their mentors from Wykeland Beal.

The children, aged nine and 10, will also be supported by young entrepreneur Alex Youden, of 3D printing company NFire Labs, based at C4DI. Alex will work with Simon and the children to create the coding and computer-aided design files to make 3D printed models of their product prototypes.

The pupils will then present their business ideas to a “Dragon’s Den”-style panel of business leaders, including Wykeland Group Managing Director Dominic Gibbons and Beal Homes Chairman and Managing Director Richard Beal, before the project culminates in a celebration event at the school in early summer 2018.

Wykeland Beal executives say Go See! Go 3D! will enable the school’s pupils to connect with the world of work through the remarkable renaissance of the Fruit Market, as well as helping them to develop confidence, self-esteem, communication, teamwork and relationship skills.

Mr Gibbons said: “It’s important the transformation of the Fruit Market creates a long-term legacy for the city, by combining physical, cultural and social regeneration.

“Part of that legacy is connecting these children with how their city is moving forward and the entrepreneurs and creatives that are at the forefront of the change.

“It’s a collaborative model that excites and inspires the children to unlock their own creativity, learning from entrepreneurs and innovators and supported by our own mentors.”

Mr Beal added: “This is a really exciting project and a fantastic opportunity to nurture the entrepreneurs and creatives of the future.

“The children have a real hunger for knowledge and their enthusiasm is infectious. With all the creative ventures springing up in the Fruit Market, there could not be a better place for them to develop innovative ideas.”

Throughout the programme, the 16 children directly involved are acting as ambassadors and cascading their new knowledge and skills to the rest of the school through workshops, presentations and mini films.

The project is now in full flow with the youngsters having visited creative businesses in the Fruit Market such as Cocoa Chocolatier and Patisserie in Humber Street, and at C4DI and toured Humber Street in the heart of the ever-evolving waterside district. Later this year they will return to see work under way on the first properties in the new residential development of 101 mews-style homes that will bring contemporary city living to Hull.

Lead Artist Simon Crook said: “The children collaborate with so many different professionals during this project – it’s an incredible opportunity to spark their imaginations.

“They are bursting with creativity and curiosity and have really impressed the professionals they have worked with. We are seeing their confidence, self-belief and excitement about their futures growing before our eyes.”

Elaine Burke, Community Engagement Consultant for Wykeland Beal, said: “Go See! Go 3D! is all about having huge ambitions for these children – seeing them as the next generation of idea-makers.

“We believe in their creativity, so we put them together with artists and professionals from all sorts of industries, to work together and see what is possible for the children to achieve.

“This project is designed to harness the unique creative and digital environment of the Fruit Market, and ripple out this magic to these children. It’s showing them how they can turn their great ideas into great products, and create bright futures for themselves in the years ahead.”

Chiltern Primary Headteacher Lynne Clarke said: “This project gives our pupils a unique opportunity to work with mentors from Wykeland Beal to develop creative solutions to everyday problems.

“So far they have visited some of the creative and innovative enterprises at C4DI and in the Fruit Market and have started to work with their mentors to generate their ideas. They will learn to use computer-aided design applications to develop their concepts and ultimately pitch their products to the ‘Dragons’ Den’ panel.  

“This project is enabling the 16 ambassador children to take the lead. On their return from their workshops they have to pass on to their classmates what they have learned, so all 60 of our Year 5 children can actively participate in the project.

“They are also keeping the rest of the school and parents informed through a series of school assemblies. As well as the creative thinking required to develop the solutions, and the practical skills to create the designs, the children are gaining in confidence and presentation skills.”

One of the children taking part, Arturs Skobelevs, 10, said it was exciting to learn from successful business people.

“It’s all about us trying new things and showing how creative we are,” he said. “The best bit so far has been meeting with our professional mentors to help us think about our presentations. They really helped us to get better ideas.”

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