People asked for views on future of Hull’s Old Town

Have your say

Shoppers are being quizzed on their views about how to inject life into a struggling shopping street in Hull.

Today staff from Hull Council will be at Ferens Art Gallery between 10am and 4pm to ask people “to have their say on the Old Town.”

Traders will get feedback at an event at the gallery next month.

For the last few years the street, once one of the city premier shopping streets, has been struggling, a trend exacerbated by the opening of the St Stephen’s shopping centre. There are currently seven units on the south side to let.

The council’s head of economic development Mark Jones, who has been appointed Whitefriargate manager, said: “We want to know what visitors want and what business want so that we have an evidence base about what people who use the street want and what their needs are.”

Karim Khan, one of the owners of the fruit and vegetable stall which has been in the Indoor Market for decades, said they’d seen a big drop in footfall since the opening of St Stephen’s. He said: “Asking people is fine as long as some good ideas come out of it and the council listen to it in the end.”

As far as he’s concerned, lower rents would help along with “better advertising so people know the market is still here and two hours short-term parking.”

The council is looking at removing seating that isn’t used to unclutter the street and open up its architectural potential. Funding from the Arts Council last year paid for artists to display work in empty shop fronts. The council is now talking to Hull School of Architecture about the possibility of students using vacant outlets to display their third year work.