Two grants have been awarded to Wykeland Group Ltd to help restore and bring back into use the former Burton building, 34-35 Whitefriargate, in Hull city centre.
As one of Hull’s most significant Art Deco buildings, it will benefit from funding from Hull City Council’s Levelling Up Funding grant scheme and the Whitefriargate High Street Heritage Action Zone, with full planning permission now approved.
With an investment of £750,000 from the Levelling Up Fund and £450,000 from Historic England through the High Street Heritage Action Zone, the total project will cost approximately £2.4million and aims to create up to 68 local jobs once the works are completed on the Grade II heritage listed building frontages.
Sitting at the entrance to the Old Town on Whitefriargate, adjacent to Beverley Gate and opposite the Maritime Museum building, the refurbishments will make the spaces suitable for either a retail or restaurant unit on the ground floor and redevelop the second and third floors into high quality office spaces.
Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “I am delighted to be able to award these grants to Wykeland to help repurpose and regenerate what is a magnificent, but currently under-used, building in our city centre.
“The Levelling Up Fund and High Street Heritage Action Zone have already benefitted many buildings and businesses in Hull and this is another example of the regeneration work it helps to unlock.”
Trevor Mitchell, Director for the North at Historic England, said: “We’re really pleased to be helping to fund the restoration of the former Burton department store through the High Street Heritage Action Zone.
“The Grade II listed building is a striking and glamorous landmark on Whitefriargate and its rejuvenation will play an important role in transforming the historic street into a thriving and attractive place to live, work, shop and enjoy leisure time.”
Tom Watson, Development Surveyor at Wykeland Group, added: “We welcome this grant, which is essential to the viability of the project we are leading to save the former Burton building from dereliction and the granting of planning permission for our detailed proposals.
“Having invested in acquiring the property to prevent its further decline, we have worked closely with Historic England, Hull City Council’s Conservation Officer and our own expert consultants to develop a high-quality scheme to revitalise this landmark building.
“Delivery of this scheme will involve further significant investment on our part to restore this historic building and enable it to have a sustainable, long-term future.
“As well as bringing one of Hull’s most distinctive buildings back to life, the project will create much-needed new business opportunities and jobs in the heart of the city centre.”
In 2021, the council was awarded £19.5million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to support infrastructure and deliver a package of city centre regeneration works.
£7.5million of this being used for the Levelling Up Fund grant scheme, which aims to bring unused floorspace of any vacant or partially occupied property back into use.
This follows on from targeted investment into Whitefriargate schemes such as the Humber High Street Challenge Fund which was completed last year, and the current High Street Heritage Action Zone.
Both these schemes have provided grants to businesses and property owners to enable the repurposing of vacant buildings on Whitefriargate.
Historically, 34-35 Whitefriargate was originally purpose-built for Montague Burton, a high-end tailor, first opening back in 1936. The building was artistically embellished with Art Deco features and designed by Leeds architect Harry Wilson.
You can find out more about High Streets Heritage Action Zones here and what Historic England does here.