Former maritime building getting a new lease of life

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Steve Ridlington outside the former George Herd shop on the Port of Grimsby now home to WE1 Group (Heritage) Ltd

The former Consolidated Fisheries building on the Port of Grimsby is to get a new lease of life thanks to an £18,800 heritage grant.

WE1 Group (Heritage) Ltd who lease the building from owners Associated British Ports (ABP) have been carefully restoring it since December 2021. The Partnership Scheme in Conservation Area (PSiCA) repair grant will now allow them to re-render external walls, repair windows, replace cast iron rainwater goods, and reinstate the flagpole.

The grant scheme is a joint project between Historic England and North East Lincolnshire Council, with support from ABP and the council’s regeneration partner EQUANS and is designed to preserve and enhance Conservation Areas such as the Kasbah which sits within the Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone (HAZ).

Simon Bird, ABP Regional Director for the Humber ports said: “It’s great to see another business taking on a building to bring it back to life. The Kasbah is emerging as a vibrant place and with the repair work being carried out it’s becoming an attractive area for people to move their businesses to.”

Steve Ridlington, Managing Director of WE1 Group Heritage, said: “We are extremely excited to be involved with the Grimsby Heritage Action Zone and everything that is happening at the Port of Grimsby. We started renovating two properties on the docks in August 2021 and we now have twelve properties under restoration, we have six clients moving into three of our renovated workspaces this year.

“This is an amazing place to be, you are surrounded by so much rich history and the architecture is so inspiring, this is a really exciting time for Grimsby and we feel privileged to be associated with ABP and the Heritage Action Zone.”

Cllr Tom Furneaux, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Heritage and Culture at North East Lincolnshire Council said: “We must look to a positive future for Grimsby and with the changes planned for our town centre and beyond, that will happen. In doing so, we must take our heritage with us where we are able – remembering where we have come from in order to grow. When we see schemes such as this, there is evidence that this is indeed happening. It is also a fantastic example of the council and its public sector partners working with businesses to successfully bring about change in one of our most historic and important areas.”

Louise Brennan, Midlands Regional Director, Historic England said:” I am delighted to see the start of the first repair scheme in the docks funded through the Heritage Action Zone. I am looking forward to the transformation of the historic docks with further projects scheduled for 2022 and 2023. Partnership working between public and private sector is key to regenerating this amazing place, with WE1 Group leading the way with the former Consolidated Fisheries building.”

The building, which until March 2021 had been operated by George Herd, will re-open as the Black Gull Café. It’s hoped it will be in time for the Heritage Open Day on Saturday 17th September.

The PSiCA grant scheme is open to businesses on the Kasbah or organisations that may be interested in moving to this Conservation Area. Anyone interested should contact Stella Jackson, Heritage Action Zone Project Manager, at [email protected].