An independent arts venue, café and book and music store on Whitefriargate has received a £100,000 grant from the Humber LEP’s Humber High Street Challenge Fund.
Wrecking Ball Press, which moved from Princes Quay to Whitefriargate last year, is the latest business to receive funding as part of Hull City Council’s Whitefriargate regeneration project.
Wrecking Ball Press opened its retail offer in November and has plans to open its arts venue and café later this year.
Owner Shane Rhodes said: “We are excited by the council’s plans for Whitefriargate. When we opened before Christmas we had a fantastic response from the public and it was clear that there is a demand for this sort of retail offer in the area.
“When we open the arts venue and café we will be able to draw even more people to the area and contribute to the fantastic regeneration happening on the historic street.
— Wrecking Ball Music and Books (@wbmusicandbooks) March 8, 2021
“Customers still like and want social contact. The high street gives people the opportunity to browse and time to choose their purchases – it is not just about acquiring something.
“The independent sector can offer something different and can respond to local needs. Our offer will be diverse with retail and hospitality downstairs and an arts venue upstairs. We see this as an opportunity to innovate and be creative with a fantastic space in an historic area of the city.”
The Whitefriargate regeneration project includes a number of grant schemes and funding projects.
Whitefriargate has benefitted from £1m from the Humber LEP’s Humber High Street Challenge Fund and secured £1.75m from Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme.
Funding can be used to undertake building and conversion projects that animate high streets, diversify the traditional high street offer and bring unused floor space back into use.
The High Street Heritage Action Zone programme is also delivering new architectural lighting and interpretation on Whitefriargate.
Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment and regeneration at Hull City Council, said: “Momentum is really starting to gather now on Whitefriargate and it is fantastic to see so many exciting and diverse businesses and projects receiving funding.
“The council has made the regeneration of this vital thoroughfare a key part of our plans for the city centre. We have secured millions of pounds of funding already from Historic England and the Humber LEP, and will continue to support and invest in the historic street and our fantastic Old Town.”