Plans to make arts quarter ‘diverse economic hub’

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MORE than £5m is to be invested in getting former warehouses in Hull shipshape for the City of Culture celebrations in 2017.

Councillors will decide next week on the first in a series of planning applications which aim to help Humber Street, the city’s emerging arts quarter, become a home to dozens more artists, design studios, restaurants and retailers.

A public-private sector venture involves the council carrying out work to create “serviceable” units in half a dozen warehouses, helping set the stage for 2017, and making the street a “diverse economic hub.”

Assistant city manager Garry Taylor said they had interest already from would-be tenants - including a food operator who wanted to hire a warehouse which different street food vans could set up shop in.

He said: “People can rack up wanting to deliver a restaurant and all the services are there or someone may want to split it up and make it an arts studio, it has that flexibility.”

Long term the plans include a new arts gallery next to Castle Street and up to 110 homes.

But this wouldn’t happen before 2017, with spaces on Humber Street needed to stage events, said Mr Taylor. Councillors will decide on allowing new uses for 2-9 and 71-72 Humber Street as part of schemes which should lever in substantial amounts of money from sources including the Coastal Communities Fund and the Big Lottery.