A recently formed parent organisation, including a number of leading cross industry businesses, has completed its move to the former HSBC building on Whitefriargate in Hull city centre following a redevelopment to transform it into a creative and innovation hub.
The 55 Group has made the move to mark a new chapter for the businesses that will use technology with the aim of making people’s lives easier, safer and greener.
A spokesman said: "The building on Whitefriargate in the heart of Hull city centre contains a great deal of original decorative features that have been retained in situ. This includes the original ceiling detailing, which has been repainted in a striking dark blue with white decorative highlighting, and a glazed dome lantern that sits above a newly created mezzanine floor."
Gerard Toplass, group chief executive, at The 55 Group, said: “We’re overjoyed to now be in our new home after waiting patiently while renovation work took place. It’s the perfect environment to collaborate professionally and socialise as friends using the integrated mix of workspaces and leisure facilities. As an organisation we’re onboard with flexible working and are happy for staff to use the facilities as needed, but it is reassuring that we have now made sure everyone has access to a high-quality work environment.
" The building is positioned in a historic and beautiful area of the city."
The 55 Group includes national framework provider Pagabo, risk, management and compliance software company Sypro, social value specialists Loop, and digital-first training platform Tequ.
Hotham’s Gin School has settled into a new home on the second floor. The design and fit-out of the Grade II ex-banking hall has been carried out by architects Stephen George + Partners LLP.
Mr Toplass continued: “Across The 55 Group, we maintain a national presence so we’re keen to continue proving that sometimes-neglected northern cities, such as Hull, can be hubs for tech innovation and professional growth in the same way that larger cities such as London and Birmingham are.”
Simon Hunt, chief executive officer at Sypro, said: “It’s fantastic to be forging the future of The 55 Group from our new city-centre base. Sypro relies on close cooperation with our stakeholders. It’s been an exciting moving process and we’re now looking forward to entertaining our clients with all that our office and Hull has to offer.”
This project was supported by a £711,000 grant from the Humber High Street Challenge Fund.
The Humber High Street Challenge Fund has been supported with £2.23m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Humber LEP and part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
Councillor Daren Hale, leader of Hull City Council, said: “It’s great to see the ongoing regeneration of Whitefriargate and the confidence that businesses are continuing to show in the area.
“55 Whitefriargate is an incredible building so it’s fantastic to see it back in use. This project compliments the vision we have for the area, of being a vibrant place for people to live, work and play, as well as complimenting both established and newly arrived businesses in the Old Town.”
The wider regeneration of Whitefriargate is being supported by £1m of funding from the Humber High Street Challenge Fund, as well as £1.75m from Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme.
James Newman, chair of HEY LEP, said: “We are thrilled to see new businesses directly benefit from the Humber High Street Challenge Fund and that this programme is having a positive impact in Hull city centre, especially in historic Whitefriargate. Making our towns and city centres accessible and vibrant will stimulate the economy, with benefits for all residents and businesses.