A CGI of some of the proposed residential development within the Fruit Market.
Nick Hill

Plans for £80m transformation of Hull’s Fruit Market revealed

The partners behind the £80m transformation of Hull’s Fruit Market have revealed their plans for the city’s cultural and creative quarter.

Regeneration company Wykeland Group and residential developer Beal Homes have formed a joint venture company, Wykeland Beal, to complete the Fruit Market project, in partnership with Hull City Council.

Wykeland Beal said its vision for the Fruit Market was: “A unique, vibrant, cultural quarter where people live, work and play.”

The aim is to create an “urban village” featuring business, arts, culture, retail and leisure uses, together with new, mews-style homes, in and among the waterside district’s warehouses and cobbled streets. The transformation will create new, independent shops, boutiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants in an area that will take centre stage during Hull’s year as UK City of Culture in 2017.

Business owners already based in the Fruit Market are being encouraged to adopt the new Fruit Market branding and “Produce of Hull” brand message, as well as become ambassadors for the area’s rejuvenation. This includes joining a stakeholder group working closely with Wykeland Beal.

The development masterplan defines the Fruit Market for the first time as an area bounded to the south, east and west by water, and by Castle Street to the North.

Development partners have revealed that the £80m ‘live, work and play’ vision for Hull’s Fruit Market includes a £1.5m public realm scheme on Humber Street, which is part of Hull City Council’s £25m programme across key city centre sites and is due to be completed by September 2016.

Work has also started to create a new and refurbished commercial, retail and leisure space focused on Humber Street. The initial phase of 20,000 sq ft of refurbished commercial space will be available for shops, restaurants, cafes and galleries, with the first 13 units on Humber Street and Pier Street, ranging in size from 350 to 2,900 sq ft, available to let soon for occupation by mid-late summer.

The regeneration project also includes 109 one, two and three bedroom homes arranged in mews style around private courtyards. A planning application for the new homes is due to be submitted next month and, subject to the granting of planning consent, construction of the residential part of the development is expected to start towards the end of 2016, with all the homes due to be delivered by 2019.

Dominic Gibbons, managing director of Wykeland, said: “With unprecedented investment in Hull and the City of Culture year just months away, Hull really is on the up. “We’re setting out our vision today, but it’s important to stress this is being delivered here and now. In fact, almost £20m of development has been completed or is under construction within the Fruit Market area.

“This unique and historic area of the city will become a welcoming and friendly place to live, a creative and entrepreneurial area to work and a vibrant destination to visit, for local people and tourists alike. “We’re hugely excited about realising the Fruit Market’s potential and we’re really keen for the existing commercial and cultural community in the area to work with us to create something extraordinary.”

Richard Beal, Beal Homes chairman and managing director, added: “The Fruit Market is a truly unique part of the city. It complements the city centre with a character and diversity all of its own.

“This is about much more than physical development. Our vision is about both place and lifestyle. We have an opportunity to create a new heartbeat for a thriving city; a place for everyone – residents, workers and visitors – to live, work and play.

“The residential development will create an opportunity for people to live in an area alive with culture and creativity. We have received more than 200 enquiries about residential opportunities in the Fruit Market, even though we have yet to carry out any marketing activity. That demonstrates the appeal of the area as a place to live.”

The Fruit Market has been an area of economic activity for 200 years and was the centre of the city’s wholesale fruit and vegetable trade until 2009.

The latest plans build on a wave of investment, including Wykeland’s £15m @TheDock development, which features the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub and Stage @TheDock, a 350-seat amphitheatre, currently under construction. Stage @TheDock will be the only new permanent venue created in the city before 2017.

The area’s resurgence has also attracted a host of new ventures and is now home to 70 businesses.

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