Area-based regeneration: Fruit Market, Hull

Hull Fruit Market is an example of how empty property can kickstart the process of transforming under-occupied areas of a city and over time attract significant private sector investment in neighbouring mixed-use development.

Creative Space Management was appointed by Hull Forward to develop a Meanwhile Use Strategy for The Fruit Market during 2009. This followed on from the local authority acquiring properties in the immediate area for a major development plan which later unexpectedly collapsed due to recession.

Following a soft market-testing event, plans to bring a first wave of eleven properties back in to use for creative and cultural end uses were adopted by city partners.

Creative Space was retained to implement the strategy in Spring 2010. This resulted in several pioneering creative ventures taking premises on Humber Street as part of the first wave of the strategy, including a new performing arts bar / venue, a gallery, two visual arts studio spaces, sculpture workshop, jewellery collective, microbrewery and several others.

Quickly gaining traction, the project was a cornerstone for Hull’s successful UK City of Culture 2017 application, following which a local developer brought investment, more businesses took up the remaining buildings on the street and there were further improvements to public realm. The interim use project evolved into a permanent creative and leisure destination.

Significant private sector developments were triggered in surrounding streets, with local developer Wykeland establishing a creative industries workspace C4DI (based on a business plan developed by Creative Space) and, more recently, major employers relocating to new buildings there. By 2020, over £80m of investment had been attracted to the surrounding streets and 1,000 new jobs generated. The largest office building in the city for 50 years, Arco’s new head office, opened in 2021 employing 600 people.

what our clients say

We love being based in the media centre as it is an aspirational building within the new media scene of Leeds. We can also take our clients to some top quality bars and restaurants that are right on our doorstep. At the end of the day, we run a successful business, and to do this it helps if we are around other successful businesses.

Guy Redwood, Director, Simple Usablity.

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