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Buildings in Hull’s historic High Street are being given a new lease of life thanks to an investment of £250,000 from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

The Humber LEP’s Board approved the funding, which was secured by the LEP through its Growth Deals with Government.

The investment supports a £1.2m scheme undertaken by Allenby Commercial to renovate and develop Danish Buildings to provide new, modern and accessible managed workspace for small businesses.

The development will help business start-ups and businesses looking to grow. An entrance from Scale Lane will ensure that there is level access for all and the layout is intended to support businesses to collaborate with shared meeting and break-out areas.

Demand for the high quality office provision is expected to be high due to a trend in recent years for existing commercial office units to be converted to residential use, which has created a shortage of suitable business premises in the city centre. The development has already secured an anchor tenant.

Danish Buildings is in Hull’s designated Heritage Action Zone and so retaining the character of the historic trading buildings and enhancing the wider old-town area is a key aspect of the specification which also supports the commercial aspirations of the Heritage Action Zone.

Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP said:

“The Humber is a great place to start and grow a business.  This scheme will help to ensure that more small businesses have the right facilities and space to thrive, whilst contributing to the ongoing regeneration of Hull’s Old Town.”

Andrew Allenby, Director of Allenby Commercial said:

“The support provided by the LEP will enable us to attract innovative, growing businesses to Hull City Centre. We know the type of stylish, yet highly functional space these types of businesses need, and Danish Buildings will be exactly that.

“The studios and break-out areas within Danish Buildings are unique, boasting characterful, historic features, whilst also offering the sleek finish and tech-infrastructure you’d find in a modern new-build property.

“We hope to build upon the success of the Centre for Digital Innovation, which has been developed in recent years. The project has attracted new tech based companies and allowed existing tech SMEs the confidence to expand.

“Danish Building itself, as well as the businesses operating from it, will breathe new life into the old town conservation area and the wider city centre, and will bring new, exciting job opportunities for businesses and the young people of Hull.”

Councillor Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council, said:

“This investment is fantastic news for the Old Town and the city. Millions have been invested in the Old Town in recent years, in projects including the £3m refurbishment of Trinity Market. The thriving market, alongside Hepworth’s Arcade, has been shortlisted in this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

“Some of the traders in the market and arcade, as well as other new and existing businesses in the area, have also benefited from the hugely successful Old Town Grant Scheme. The scheme, a partnership between Hull City Council and the Humber LEP, which also received Local Growth Fund support, has encouraged investment in the area through match-funding.

“This £250,000 investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund is another example of the substantial sums of both public and private money that is helping to reshape and reinvigorate the Old Town.”

Jake Berry, Local Growth Minister added:

“This government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse and building an economy which is fit for the future.

“High Streets are at the heart of our local communities which is why I’m determined to ensure they are able to evolve and thrive. Using historic buildings in creative new ways plays an important part in regenerating our town centres so I am delighted that £250,000 from the Local Growth Fund is being invested in this project to provide local entrepreneurs with new office space and keep the historic Old Town an attractive place for the people of Hull.”