A huge maritime project to protect and promote Hull’s rich maritime history is set to become a reality following the approval of a £13.6m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Following on from the success of UK City of Culture 2017, the project is the next major milestone in the delivery of Hull’s City Plan and 10-year Cultural Strategy, which set out how Hull will achieve its ambition to become a world-class visitor destination.
As well as celebrating every element of its maritime past, present and future, the project represents the next major phase in the regeneration of this historic maritime city and is pivotal to Hull’s plans to continue to develop as a unique and exciting cultural destination, ensuring a lasting legacy from UK City of Culture 2017.
The grant of £13.6m from the National Lottery, means that Hull will secure pride of place on the maritime map and showcase its seafaring heritage on a global scale. Hull City Council’s commitment to the project means they are putting forward £10m of match funding, along with a further £4.3m for the redevelopment of Queens Gardens, once the world’s largest dock, which will connect the three important sites involved in the project.
The project will see Hull Maritime Museum; Dock Office Chambers and the North End Shipyard regenerated and two historic vessels, the Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship, preserved. Creating a new experience and maritime trail, visitors will be able to discover Hull’s global links and how its heritage has led to shaping the city into the cultural icon it has become today.
The awarding of The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant and the match funding of the City Council has been bolstered by a fundraising campaign, which is on the way to achieving its £2.6m funding target with £250,000 already secured. The success of the fundraising campaign embodies the support and passion of the people of Hull for the project, ensuring that their city remains at the forefront of arts, culture and heritage following its triumphant reign as the UK City of Culture since 2017.
Councillor Daren Hale, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment, Regeneration, Planning, Land and Property, said: “This is fantastic news. We are absolutely delighted that we’ve been awarded this substantial funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
“This is a real game-changer for Hull. This is continued investment and regeneration for our city and our proud heritage, bringing far reaching benefits for everyone as well as reaffirming our role as a thriving cultural and maritime city.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, we are now a step closer to restoring and refurbishing a number of heritage sites which are packed with historical significance, as well as creating a new and exciting maritime experience that the people of Hull and visitors will be proud of. This significant investment will also give an area steeped in maritime history a new lease of life.
“This is an exciting time for Hull and with this funding we can now set our plans in motion and the ambitious plans can come to fruition.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “As City of Culture, Hull proved just how remarkable its heritage and people are. Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will build on that incredible legacy and sense of pride, saving Hull’s maritime heritage and ensuring the communities and places which were shaped by it are at the heart of securing its future. We’re pleased that our investment will complement the range of other projects that have, or are, being delivered in Hull all adding up to a transformation to benefit everyone.
“It’s the National Lottery’s 25th birthday this year and in that quarter of a century, more than £7.9billion has been raised for the UK’s heritage. What’s happening in Hull shows just how impactful National Lottery investment can be.”
Jenny Howard-Coombes, Chair of Cultural Collisions Hull, said: “It feels so fitting that a city whose DNA is rooted in the maritime industry should use the rich narratives of our maritime heritage to propel the city forward, shaping the future and inspiring generations to come. Coming on the back of Hull2017, the Yorkshire Maritime City programme of work will elevate us further.
“It’s another game changer for the city and the communities within. This success is evidence of what can be achieved when heritage, arts and industry unify to develop a vision of success and I look forward to see cross sectors and the community coming together to affirm the city of Hull as a pioneering, forward thinking city shaped by its past but reaching towards a new and brave future.”
Over the last two years, more than 100 heritage and community organisations, 40 schools and 15,000 people have helped to shape the exciting plans, making this project the people’s project.
Ron Wilkinson, Chair of STAND Fishing Heritage Group, said: “STAND: Hull’s Fishing Heritage Group have had a long voluntary partnership with the council in managing the Arctic Corsair and other maritime events and are grateful to THE National Lottery Heritage Fund for their important financial gift which will play a major role in the realisation of the HYMC project.
“We recognise the hard work carried out by Hull City Council in achieving this grant which will greatly enhance the maritime profile of the city of Kingston upon Hull.
“Hull’s maritime heritage is of great importance to the city of Hull therefore the HYMC Project is a great opportunity to recognise and remember such an integral part of the city’s history, not only for the present but for future generations to come.”
Jacky Devonshire, the daughter of the late Jim Williams a skipper on the Arctic Corsair for 31 years, said: “This is a great boost for Hull and the dedicated volunteers. It is an opportunity to share our city’s rich culture and a great tribute to the men who fished the treacherous waters and to those who tragically lost their lives.”
Jill Young, a maritime ambassador for the project and more widely for Hull’s fishing and maritime heritage and heavily involved in a judges visit with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “This is great news for the city of Hull. It’s so important to keep our heritage and history alive for the people that have lived, worked and breathed it, in happy and sad times, for future generations.”
Councillor Hale added: “My thanks go out to the council and Hull Culture and Leisure staff who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point and, even more importantly, to all those members of the public and organisations who have contributed, sharing their valued feedback, this is a project that belongs to the people of Hull and a very special story that can’t be told anywhere else in the world.
“This project is not just about preserving and promoting 800 years of Hull’s maritime history and creating a lasting UK City of Culture legacy, but delivering a whole raft of opportunities and benefits that will make the city a great place to work, learn, play and visit.”
Work is due to start in the coming months once permission to start has been granted from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project will be completed in a phased approach, the full visitor experience is expected to be completed by 2024.
For more information on the plans visit maritimehull.co.uk
[Anna Marshall – Hull City Council]