The Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust (GGIFT), in partnership with North East Lincolnshire council and Associated British Ports, has secured £947,400 in funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund to deliver the project. The Grade II listed smokehouse, with adjacent building “Fred’s Fish” on Wharncliffe Road, will be brought back into use and the rental income will support future projects in the Kasbah to be undertaken by the trust.
A million pounds of grant funding has been won to restore one of the Kasbah’s landmark buildings, in what is a major boost to regenerating this historic Grimsby dock area.
Delighted members of the community group, the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust, (GGIFT) are today celebrating, along with their supporters and partners.
As a result of the partnership work with North East Lincolnshire Council, its regeneration partners at ENGIE and landowners Associated British Ports, (ABP) the grants won by GGIFT will enable the transformation of the Peterson’s Smokehouse building on Henderson Street.
The total monies add up to £1,074,000 – £647,400 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, a £300,000 Transformational Project grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund’s Transforming Places Through Heritage programme and a previously awarded £60,000 from both bodies.
Detailed preparation can now begin for work to start, hopefully by spring 2021. Planning permission has already been granted, a pre-bid requirement, with artists’ impressions showing the listed building restored as a traditional fish smokehouse. Its landmark chimney cowels will be preserved, and an internal staircase, office and mess facilities will be installed.
The money will also enable the renovation of the empty ‘Fred’s Fish’ building, which sits opposite on Wharncliffe Road, for use as offices and a cafe. When complete, it is intended that both buildings will be let out and the revenue invested in future projects.
Just last month, it was revealed how leading regional firm Hodson Architects was planning to re-locate its business to the Kasbah – and this latest news represents a further leap in efforts to see this area reborn.
Highlighting the Kasbah’s significance on a recent visit, Historic England’s principal advisor for historic places, Clive Fletcher, described it as ‘truly unique’.
“The Kasbah’s historic buildings are not only symbols of the past but opportunities for the future. With a little imagination and investment, Grimsby’s heritage is poised to release new economic vitality and pride in the town,” he said.
In the heyday of Grimsby’s fishing industry, when it grew to become the world’s busiest port, the buildings were at the heart of port dockside life – the business hub. As the sector declined, so did the Kasbah – until now and a likely turnaround in its fortunes. Organisations already doing well in the area include Alfred Enderby Ltd – celebrity chef Marco Pierre White is a firm fan of the smoked fish produced there, and Creative Start, a community interest company using art to effect positive change in individuals.
A thrilled chair of GGIFT Vicky Hartung, said “We are absolutely delighted to have the go-ahead for Peterson’s. This is very much a partnership project, which emerged from some creative discussions between ABP, NELC, ENGIE and GGIFT almost three years ago, and this joint working and support has been much appreciated.
“Rents from the buildings will provide a solid financial basis for the Trust, so we can continue to be of use in realising the vision for the Kasbah that we now all share,” added Vicky.
Stella Jackson, employed by North East Lincolnshire Council’s regeneration partner ENGIE to lead on the development of areas and structures within the Grimsby Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), said: ‘This is wonderful news and, as Vicky says, the project fits within the ‘three strand’ approach being actively promoted by the Kasbah Steering Group, which includes members from ABP, NELC, Historic England, and GGIFT.
“Peterson’s addresses both artisinal food production and facilities for the supply chain serving the renewables industry, while the third strand – workshops and premises for creative businesses – is currently receiving a terrific boost with the development of the Arts Council England funded Creative Industries Workspace,” added Stella.
David Renwick, The Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the partnership led by the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust and involving Associated British Ports and North East Lincolnshire Council, in their work to secure the future of the Kasbah.
“By investing in such iconic buildings, The Fund not only contributes to the vitality of each of these buildings, but also to the wider places in which they sit, stimulating pride in communities and economic growth. Alongside other funders such as the Architectural Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and Historic England we are investing to what adds up to an exciting place for Grimsby’s heritage and culture in the wider plans for the town. We are looking forward to seeing the works progress and the positive impact its regeneration will have for the local community, but also for the North of England more widely.”
Matthew Mckeague, the CEO of the Architectural Heritage Fund, added: “It gives us great pleasure to continue our support and investment in Peterson’s Smokehouse. This is a significant moment as we witness a place of unique local character and community identity undergo a transformation that will create much-needed economic and social opportunities for Grimsby’s residents and businesses, and open up the Kasbah and town to a brighter future. We hope that our continued investment will encourage other charities and social enterprises to consider the adaptation and reuse of historic buildings in Grimsby, so that many more positive benefits can be realised for the local community.”
As landowners, ABP is equally pleased to see the Kasbah project starting to take shape. Dafydd Williams, Head of Policy, Communications and Economic Development at ABP Humber, said: “This is an important milestone in the ongoing renaissance of the Kasbah. It seems that every month we have good news about the delivery of the regeneration project, with the area becoming a new vibrant space for business growth in Grimsby. This has been a great partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council as part of the Grimsby Town Deal.”
In recent years particularly, North East Lincolnshire Council has actively looked at ways in which it can conserve and find new uses for the area’s heritage – supporting the creation of the (HAZ), which takes in buildings and structures within a 2.5km stretch from 17-19 Wellowgate to St James’ Square, along the main town shopping area of Victoria Street, across Riverhead Square and onto Garth Lane bridge. It then passes West Haven maltings and onto Victoria Mills and up to the docks, and the Kasbah.
NELC regeneration lead, Cllr John Fenty, said: “Once the beating heart of the town’s fishing industry, we now see definite signs that a new future can be created here, and rightly so. I think it is appropriate to thank the hard work of Vicky and her team and the close partnership working that has made this possible.”