Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone promises a kickstart for local economic regeneration

Plans for the regeneration of local economy received a boost this week when Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, John Glen announced that Grimsby has been designated a Heritage Action Zone.

The Zone will give historic dock buildings, former smokehouses, factories and shops a new lease of life, creating jobs and stimulating appreciation of Grimsby’s heritage.

The Grimsby Heritage Action Zone is being led by NE Lincolnshire Council. Working with Associated British Ports it will unlock a transformation of the Kasbah, where the designation of a new Conservation Area has recently recognised the importance of historic smokehouses and other buildings associated with the fishing industry.

The programme also aims to reconnect the town centre with the port by promoting use of historic buildings along Alexandra Dock, including Victoria Mills, where the Council recently spent more than £2 million on urgent repairs.

Louise Brennan, Planning Director for Historic England in the East Midlands, said of the decision:
“Few places in England have as distinctive a heritage as Grimsby, and few have so much to gain from it. Grimsby holds a unique place in our history as a seafaring nation, and the evidence can still be seen in abundance in historic buildings like those in the Kasbah. These places 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.”

Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for regeneration agreed and welcomed the announcement, commenting:
“This is welcome news and is a significant part of the wider Town Deal we have been working with central government and partners on. Grimsby is changing with the new industries we are seeing in the town and pulling all the strands of work together will help to truly transform the economic outlook for the town.

Lots of pieces of the jigsaw are finally beginning to come together. That takes hard work and dedication – it’s not by any stretch of the imagination a quick process. Now we need to deliver the projects with our local communities and our partners to realise Grimsby’s full potential and make sure that the town’s character and heritage will truly benefit the area.”

Simon Bird, Port Director Humber at ABP added:
“This announcement is another huge step forward in breathing new life into the Kasbah which is already part of a thriving port. Regeneration of the Kasbah area has come to symbolise the special partnership approach that we have adopted with NE Lincolnshire Council, and we look forward to working with them and with Historic England to spearhead a programme of economic regeneration for the future.”

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