Emma Hardy MP and Craig Broadwith from Historic England on a visit to Whitefriargate in Hull.
Emma Hardy MP and Craig Broadwith from Historic England on a visit to Whitefriargate in Hull. © Historic England
Emma Hardy MP and Craig Broadwith from Historic England on a visit to Whitefriargate in Hull. © Historic England

Hull MP Shows Support for Regeneration of Historic High Street

Historic England has been showing Emma Hardy MP how it is working with Hull City Council to breathe new life into the city’s Old Town.

On Friday 2 July, representatives from Historic England visited Whitefriargate with the MP for Hull West and Hessle. Whitefriargate is the focus of two major funding programmes aimed at making the historic street and the surrounding area a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

Combined, the programmes add up to a total projected investment of more than £2.8 million from Historic England.

Established in 2017, the Hull Heritage Action Zone is a five-year programme, in which Historic England and Hull City Council are working to transform and find new uses for vacant and underused historic buildings in the Old Town.

Launched last September, the Hull Whitefriargate High Street Heritage Action Zone – another five-year programme - will help to re-position Whitefriargate as a family-friendly destination through the development of new leisure activities, cafes and restaurants.

During her visit, Ms Hardy was shown several completed Heritage Action Zone projects. This included 15 Whitefriargate, a Grade II*-listed building, which has been transformed into the new home of Wrecking Ball Music & Books an independent shop, café/bar and cultural venue.

She also visited 40-43 Whitefriargate, the former Marks & Spencer building, which is now set to become the city centre Job Centre and the focus of plans for a new residential and commercial development.

Further along the street, Ms Hardy was shown the work happening to convert the former bank on 55 Whitefriargate into business premises with residential accommodation on the upper floors.

Elsewhere on the site visit, she was informed about plans to convert 1-3 Whitefriargate into a high-end restaurant and apartments, and she was updated on proposals to repair and protect the remains of Beverley Gate, which played a key role in the outbreak of the English Civil War.

It’s great to see the regeneration work on Whitefriargate, the work that Historic England is doing is amazing. By working alongside people and businesses locally, the rich and vibrant history of Whitefriargate can be preserved. “Historic England’s Heritage Action Zone programmes will breathe new life into a once thriving area of our city, unlocking its potential and once again making it a place to visit for everyone to see what an exciting heritage it has and what it can offer us all for today and tomorrow.

Emma Hardy MP, Hull West and Hessle

It has been really helpful to hear Ms Hardy’s thoughts on the work that is happening to regenerate Whitefriargate. The street has a rich and varied history and, while it has declined in recent years, it has huge potential to once again become a major destination for both visitors and local people.

Craig Broadwith, Historic Paces Adviser - Yorkshire Historic England
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