Next week will see the launch of the £1.95m Humber High Street Challenge Fund grant scheme.
Whitefriargate in Hull city centre will receive £1m as part of the scheme.
Grants will be available to encourage private sector landlords and property owners to undertake building and conversion projects that will improve high streets, diversifying the traditional retail offer and bringing unused floor space back into use.
Funding for the Humber High Street Challenge scheme was allocated by the Humber LEP from the Humber’s Local Growth Fund allocation, secured from Government as part of their commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
An event to mark the launch of the Humber Street Challenge Fund is being held at 15 Whitefriargate (the former Kapow Unit) on Tuesday 1 October 2019.
Between 10am and 12.30pm, businesses and investors will be able to find out more about the scheme and discuss ideas with Council officers who are overseeing the delivery of the project. There will also be an opportunity to meet suppliers and discuss technical details in relation to proposals for bringing unused spaces back into use.
During the afternoon, between 1pm and 4pm, the event will be open to the public. A mini-exhibition will be on display showing how the Humber High Street Challenge Fund will assist in regenerating Whitefriargate and how this initial investment fits with the wider strategy to rejuvenate the street.
In addition to the Humber LEP investment on Whitefriargate, £400k of funding from Historic England has also been committed to the grant scheme to improve building frontages on the historically important street.
Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for regeneration and economic investment, said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for Whitefriargate. The council has been successful with a number of different funding applications that will regenerate and transform the area.
“The investment through the Humber High Street Challenge Fund allows us to offer match funding to investors, as well as improving the aesthetics and layout of the street. We saw with the Old Town Grant Scheme how match funding can encourage investment and revitalise an area. Our aim is to see the same success on Whitefriargate.”
The Whitefriargate regeneration project has also been boosted by a successful £1.75m bid to Historic England and the council has been shortlisted following its bid to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, which could unlock a further £22m for the area.
The Humber High Street Challenge Fund will also deliver investment in the following high street and town centre areas in the Humber region:
- East Riding of Yorkshire: Clock Tower area of Goole
- North Lincolnshire Council: Scunthorpe town centre
- North East Lincolnshire: Kasbah area of Grimsby.
The targeted investment will deliver early improvement works in advance of larger scale investments sought from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund and could see the creation of over 270 jobs, with over 6,500 sqm of commercial floor space brought back into use across the Humber region.
Further information on the scheme is available on the project website: www.hull.gov.uk/HHSCF
Lord Chris Haskins, Chair of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am delighted the Humber High Street Challenge Fund has been officially launched, we believe it can make a real difference to the region’s high streets.
“Measures such as diversification and repurposing of traditional retail spaces, including converting buildings for new uses, have the potential to breathe new life into our town and city centres, helping the Humber remain an attractive place to live and work.
“I am delighted that the Humber’s Local Growth Fund allocation, which we have secured from Government, is supporting the regeneration of the region’s high streets and can have a positive impact for our residents, businesses and visitors alike.”
[Michael Berriman – Hull City Council]