Monthly Archive 30 October 2023

Riverhead bus stops gain extra security

Eleven bus stops at Grimsby Riverhead Exchange now have CCTV coverage to help combat anti-social behaviour in the area, creating a safer environment for bus passengers and bus drivers.

Four new CCTV cameras have been installed to cover bus stops A to L, and these cameras will not only prevent anti-social behaviour at bus stops, but will also reduce security costs, prevent crime and vandalism, and make bus drivers feel safer.

The initiative transpired after the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) surveys concluded that people didn’t feel safe at bus stops, particularly those across the town centre.

Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “It’s great to see CCTV cameras being used to prevent anti-social behaviour at bus stops in the local town centre. We are sure that they will have a positive impact for local people and bus drivers by creating a greater sense of security and reassurance. I am looking forward to seeing the impact of the new CCTV cameras which will hopefully prevent vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the Riverhead area.”

Lani Lamming, Enhanced Bus Quality Partnership Coordinator at Equans, added: “From the results of both the 2021 and 2023 surveys, we knew that it was crucial to provide more security at our bus stops for individuals, students and families to help them feel safe and more comfortable when boarding and disembarking the bus in the town centre. We hope to see bus passenger numbers increase as a result of the new CCTV cameras as survey responses suggested safety around the bus stops is one of the things which deters people from using the bus.”

Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “People up and down the country deserve a modern, reliable, and affordable public transport system. That is why we have provided North East Lincolnshire Council with over £5.2 million to boost its bus services. Supporting the council with introducing CCTV at 11 bus stops across the Grimsby Riverhead Exchange is great for local residents, who will now be able to use the bus more safely and with greater piece of mind.”

Matthew Cranwell, Managing Director at Stagecoach, added: “This is a big matter for our customers and staff, given the antisocial behaviour in the area. Security is always listed as one of the key drivers for customer satisfaction, and as a key interchange point this is critical to help with getting passenger numbers up.”

Article and image from NELC.

Public consultation: Proposed traffic and road safety project in West Marsh

A public consultation event about a proposed traffic and road safety project along Armstrong Street and surrounding areas is being held by Equans on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council.

The event is taking place on Thursday 19 October at West Marsh Community Centre, between 3pm and 6pm. 

People will be able to view the draft proposals and speak to the team behind the project.

The comments received at the event will help shape the final scheme design ahead of project delivery next year.

Article from NELC.

Heritage projects ensure Grimsby’s history is preserved for the future

ON SUNDAY 8 October, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) announced that 20 areas in the UK had secured priority investment for the next 10 years, with a dedicated pot of £200m to be distributed between the areas.  North East Lincolnshire is one of the chosen “Heritage Places”, selected for its ‘heritage needs, opportunities and potential’.

Heritage Fund support has been crucial to the borough’s journey of rediscovery, of reinvention and of planning for the future.  North East Lincolnshire has been the benefactor of some fantastic support to help enrich its own history, heritage and culture, as seen through the Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) project, which came to an end in late September.

For the last five years, HAZ became a solid partnership of organisations working together to regenerate historic and culturally important areas of Grimsby. 

These included North East Lincolnshire Council and regeneration partner Equans, Historic England, Associated British Ports (ABP), the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust (GGIFT), Humber LEP (now GLLEP), and Grimsby Minster PCC.  Other funders to have worked with HAZ include Arts Council England (ACE), the Heritage Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund, and the Department for Levelling Up (DLUHC) Town’s Fund.

Projects benefiting from this strong network have included the ongoing Peterson’s Project and Ice Factory, their progress tracked by the Kasbah Steering Group and the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust, the town centre’s historic Corporation Road Bridge, Grimsby Minster, the former 19th century Cooperage, and West Haven Maltings.  The Maltings includes an impressive plan to transform the site into a major youth facility, led by OnSide Youth Zones, a national collaboration of local charities.

Looking through a national lens, those who do not know Grimsby may perceive it as a cultural desert but such people should stop and think again.

Indeed, there is much to celebrate about Grimsby’s heritage – a town that was first written of in 866AD and was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086.  The poem ‘Havelok the Dane’ is said to have been written in the late 1200s, telling the story of a prince of Denmark and his rescuer, Grim the fisherman.  It is said to be one of the oldest surviving romances in the English language and has been the inspiration for Falfest, the town’s new and extremely popular Viking Festival. 

The town later became the largest fishing port in the world, with hundreds of boats moored at the dockside, delivering their catch before heading out to the cold North Sea.  Since the Cod Wars of the 60s and 70s, the fishing industry has since all-but disappeared, but the remains of that era include an area of former workshops, fish processors, shops, and smokehouses, as well as the pontoons and the huge Ice Factory.  Many of these buildings are also of national significance, documenting the country’s rich fishing history.

Today, North East Lincolnshire remains a major centre for seafood processing and is also home to Orsted, the world’s largest offshore wind and operations maintenance centre.

Simon Bird, Regional Director (Humber) at Associated British Ports said: “ABP’s involvement with the partnership has seen some great benefits to the historic quarter of the Port of Grimsby in terms of building restoration. We will continue with the work as a result of this.

“The success of our recent Heritage Open Day at the port is part of the wider work we’re doing to help people understand this historic environment, while bringing new business and employment opportunities to the port, like the filming that has been taking place.”

North East Lincolnshire Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy, Net Zero, Skills and Housing, Philip Jackson, said: “The HAZ projects demonstrate that heritage-led regeneration is more than just the repair of historic buildings within a town centre, it’s also about bringing those buildings back into use, activating them to create social and economic opportunities for our community, and developing pride of place.

“We have achieved some fantastic outcomes over the past five years, but this isn’t the end, it’s just the start, and the Council remains committed to heritage-led regeneration in the future.”

The HAZ project has inspired a wider regeneration of the Borough, including the development of the North East Lincolnshire Heritage Network, and a very successful Heritage Starter Fund Grant Scheme.  The project has run alongside other programmes of work, including the Cleethorpes Townscape Heritage Project and the Grimsby Creates programme, the latter creating several fantastic murals around the town depicting stories at the heart of the community.

Louise Brennan, Regional Director (Midlands) at Historic England said: “Grimsby is a town rich in heritage. From the Medieval Minster to the Victorian Dock Tower, Grimsby’s historic significance is made clear by its collection of stunning buildings. Historic England wholeheartedly supports the restoration and regeneration of Grimsby’s unique industrial and civic heritage, and we are delighted that the investments made via the Heritage Action Zone has enabled the repair and reuse of buildings from the towns’ past, ready to help make its future.”

As the HAZ project comes to an end, the new “Historic Places” project signifies a new dawn for heritage across the borough.  Teams completing HAZ works across the area will now be able to turn their considerations to other buildings in need of regeneration, furthering the process of bringing historic Grimsby to life.

Residents now and in the future will enjoy places of the past, using them as work and community spaces, while the strong partnerships made with organisations like Historic England and ABP will continue to grow as Historic Places takes shape in the coming months.

For more information, visit external site  and external site 

Article and image from NELC.

Survey works to get underway at Freshney Place

During the works the Market Hall entrance (pictured above left) will be open as normal during market opening days – Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 9am until 4pm. At those times Freshney Place can also be entered via this entrance.

Further works are due to get underway at Freshney Place Shopping Centre, as the plans to transform the western area of Grimsby Town Centre gather pace.

The work will allow specialists from appointed contractor, Morgan Sindall Construction, to carry out detailed examination surveys ahead of the major scheme starting in 2024.

Trading at both Freshney Place Shopping Centre and the Top Town Market will continue throughout, with shops and stalls remaining open as normal.

From Tuesday 17 October to Friday 10 November the shopping centre’s Flottergate entrance will be closed along with one of the indoor Top Town Market entrances on the main Flottergate mall. The other three market entrances – including the two external ones next to Devonshire House and on Victoria Street – will be open as normal on market days – Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Freshney Place is otherwise unaffected, with just some slight diversions around Flottergate. Signs will direct shoppers.

A spokesperson from Morgan Sindall, the appointed contractor, said: “This is an extremely exciting scheme, which is set to transform this western end of Freshney Place in terms of the diversity of the offer and the look and feel of the whole area. As we prepare for the main works to begin, we do need to do all the necessary groundwork and we appreciate this may cause slight disruption for both shoppers and traders. We do apologise for that, and we will endeavour to keep this to a minimum.”

Supported by a £20m LUF (Levelling Up Fund) grant award, the Freshney Place Market Hall and Leisure Scheme will create a modern and vibrant new Market Hall in the old BHS building, a new 5-screen cinema operated by Parkway Cinema, more space for eateries and leisure, and a purpose built and well-designed community space.

About Freshney Place:

Freshney Place is Lincolnshire’s largest covered shopping centre, constituting approximately 60% of Grimsby town centre’s retail offering. It has 67 occupied units covering both hugely popular high street brands, independent boutiques, several cafés as well as a dedicated soft play.

  • The shopping centre welcomes an average of 125,000 visitors each week and supports 1,700 full and part time jobs in the area. 
  • Freshney Place’s western end will undergo significant transformation in the next three years, with support from a £20m LUF Round 2 bid from Central Government, submitted by centre owners North East Lincolnshire Council and awarded in Autumn 2023. A new cinema, market hall and leisure and food venues are being developed. 

Article and image from NELC.

Delight as North East Lincolnshire is revealed as national ‘Heritage Place’

North East Lincolnshire can build on the past, but through the lens of ‘the now’ its people can see their deep and rich connection to the sea, and also learn from their heritage.

And today (Sunday 8 October), in a major boost to its heritage and cultural work, the borough has been named as one of the UK’s initial nine “Heritage Places” by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), securing priority investment for the next 10 years.  

With 11 more areas to be announced, in total there is a dedicated funding pot of £200m for North East Lincolnshire and the other 19 areas between now and 2033. The 20 places have been chosen based on their ‘heritage needs, opportunities and potential’.

Announcing the long-term Heritage Places project, Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of the NLHF  said: “Our Heritage Places is designed to support in challenging times, to achieve even greater impact, and commits our funding for the long-term.”

Cllr Hayden Dawkins, North East Lincolnshire Council’s Cabinet member for Culture and Heritage, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as a ‘Heritage Place’ and look forward to continuing to work closely with the Heritage Fund to support our communities to explore their heritage

“It is amazing when you stop and consider the dedication and enthusiasm being displayed by a growing number of people and organisations in North East Lincolnshire – all who have a desire to see us all enjoy arts, culture and heritage and also learn and grow. Everyone here at the Council thanks all those involved, and we are excited to see what the future brings. This also builds on the regeneration of our borough and will complement the vast amount of work being done to transform our area,” he added.

Over the last few years, Heritage Fund support has been crucial to the borough’s journey of rediscovery, of reinvention and of planning for the future. North East Lincolnshire has been the benefactor of some fantastic support to help enrich its own history, heritage and culture, which has supported wider investment through the funding from the Towns Fund, UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Arts Council England

There’s been plenty of work around the subject of heritage, not only through work the Council has led on, but partners and private sector too. Let’s look at some of the projects supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and, of course, those who play the National Lottery:

Work on Grimsby docks, supported by a range of funding sources has led to a raft of improved buildings and new occupation, bringing the port to life with culture and craft as well as coffee and cake! Recipients of Heritage Fund money include the Peterson’s Project, with other funding from Historic England supporting projects throughout the Heritage Action Zone.

In Cleethorpes, a £1.9m NLHF supported programme is helping to restore historic balconies and shop fronts on the resort’s historic Alexandra Road. 

But it’s the heart of Grimsby that’s leading the transformation. More than £2m of Heritage Fund money is supporting the new Horizon OnSide Youth Zone project at West Haven Maltings, providing a place for young people in the borough to go, to learn and to play.

And Our Big Picture Limited was supported by Heritage Fund to acquire a Grade 2 listed building on Bethlehem Street. The organisation now has its own space to give North East Lincolnshire communities a chance to explore their heritage and culture.

But it’s not all about buildings!

North East Lincolnshire was selected for a grant as an ‘Area of Focus’ for The National Lottery Heritage Fund due to low heritage investment. This provided opportunity to work with more people across the borough.

The area was awarded £250,000 from the Heritage Fund to create a ‘Heritage Starter Fund’ and establish a Heritage Network. Working in partnership with Heritage Lincolnshire, the aim was to widen audiences for heritage and to ensure that heritage plays a key role in helping communities recover from the impacts of COVID19. 

As a result, new events, experiences and activities have been supported and grown from this seed corn investment – from the Grim Falfest for the last two Septembers, to sharing memories of Grimsby Town Football Club and protecting and enhancing iconic buildings like Weelsby Hall.

Article and image from NELC.

Safer Streets celebrates ‘tremendous impact’ in East Marsh

A programme aimed at cutting crime and anti-social behaviour on the East Marsh is celebrating a wave of success after a year of investment.

The Home Office-funded project has seen residents on the East Marsh benefit from free home security upgrades and initiatives to make their communities safer.

The Safer Streets project, led by North East Lincolnshire Council and the office of Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner, benefitted from £749,500 of Home Office funding.

As part of the project, local company Empower CIC have helped to distribute and install around 500 pieces of home security equipment, including outdoor security lights, alarms and window locks.

Bacon Engineering, another local firm, have repaired and replaced alleyway gates at 30 sites across the ward. Before this, clearance company Simply Refreshed removed almost 10-tonnes of waste and  12 bulky items from alleyways.

The project also saw the installation of 11 new CCTV cameras, connected to the Council’s wider network, and improved street lighting.

Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:

“This project has truly been a community-focussed, local project. Working with our partners, we identified a number of projects to help make this part of the East Marsh safer and more secure.

“By distributing proper home security upgrades to vulnerable people and families, we’ve helped to protect homes against intruders.

“By clearing alleyways and repairing or renewing gates, we’ve reduced the risk of fly-tipping and alleyway fires.

“By investing money into local projects and community groups, we’ve the community a chance to really flourish.

“I’m really pleased with the results and feel that there is a real sense of achievement following this project. Safer Streets has had a tremendous impact and I would like to congratulate all those involved.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison said: “When I became Police and Crime Commissioner I set my office an ambitious target to generate investment in our area from central Government.

“Since then we have had four successful bids into the Home Office Safer Streets fund which have enabled positive interventions to be made in Scunthorpe, Beverley, Grimsby’s West Marsh and now this latest project in the East Marsh.

“I’m very pleased to see the difference Safer Streets is already making for local residents and improving the safety of their community.”

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Matt Stringer said: “Alongside our partners, we are determined to really help the community in making the East Marsh an enjoyable place to live.

“The investment means we have been able to further listen to the concerns of local residents and as a result, have ramped up our efforts further in targeting those individuals’ intent on causing harm to the community.

“I would like to thank the community for their continued support as we continue to help the East Marsh thrive. 

“I would encourage anybody with information on suspicious or criminal activity to report it to us on our non-emergency number 101 or anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers.”

The project has been documented by Hammond House film company, with the footage expected the be published online in the coming weeks.

Article and image from NELC.

Prominent Grimsby buildings enjoy a spruce-up

A campaign by North East Lincolnshire Council to rejuvenate buildings in Grimsby town centre continues to drive forward with improvements currently underway at several prominent properties.

Completed earlier in the year were the former My Oriental Fusion property, in Town Hall Street, and The Body Shop, My Cigara, Pizza Hut, TSB, and Nationwide Building Society in Victoria Street.  Problems identified prior to works included cracked or missing render, flaking paintwork, shrubs growing in brickwork, missing gutters and drainpipes and vegetation in the gutters and on the roof.

Started in October 2022, the property project has been focussed on the pedestrianised Victoria Street West area and surrounding streets.  Several unkempt properties were identified at the time, although most in the area only needed minor work to bring them up to standard.

Cllr Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for Safer and Stronger Communities at North East Lincolnshire Council, commented:

“Not only do improvements like these make a positive difference for businesses, by allowing the potential for attracting new customers, they also instil a sense of pride in the wider community.

“Smarter areas also tend to enjoy higher property values, while run-down areas often become beacons for criminality and anti-social behaviour, therefore it is important we continue to strive for better buildings across the town centre.

“I’m grateful to all the property owners who are taking care of their buildings and making the town centre a more attractive place to work, visit and enjoy.”

It was hoped that the improvements to buildings earlier this year would encourage other property owners in the locale to do the same.  Work is currently being completed at the former House of Fraser store, the Post Office, Co-Op Travel, Specsavers, Top Nails and Grimsby Learning Centre.

All six buildings are undergoing work to check and remove debris from rainwater goods, such as gutters, and repairing, replacing, and repainting flaking or rotten exterior woodwork, while Co-Op Travel and Specsavers are having repairs made to defective render.  Grimsby Learning Centre will enjoy a spruce-up of the external woodwork with a fresh coat of paint whilst also cleaning up the exterior of the building. Top Nails have erected scaffolding which will see repairs to the guttering, painting external woodwork and general tidy up to the property. Repairs to the exterior of the former House of Fraser building include the gutters, woodwork, paintwork, windows, doors, tiles and signage.

The plan for the wider Grimsby town centre includes a multi-million-pound leisure scheme, to include a new cinema, market, housing development, youth facility, and revamped Riverhead.  These major refurbishments are all a part of plans to invigorate the area.

Property owners inside of this improvement zone are realising the potential these changes could bring.

The town centre project resembles an earlier scheme undertaken to improve the street scene on the A180, between Riby Square in Grimsby and Suggitt’s Lane in Cleethorpes.  Operation Gateway, as it was named, saw improvements carried out at 130 buildings in the target area.  These changes have made a big difference to the area and give a better impression of the town as visitors drive through to Cleethorpes for their summer holiday breaks.

Article and image from NELC.

Polling station review – have your say

North East Lincolnshire Council is reviewing its polling stations and is asking people to come forward with their views.

The main purpose of the review is to make sure that all voters in the borough have reasonable facilities for voting and polling places are accessible to all electors.

People are invited to give their views on the current arrangements and suggest other options where possible. The closing date for suggestions is 31 October 2023.

Feedback from the survey will help shape how polling stations can be improved before the next local elections in May 2024.

Have your say at

Information about the current polling districts, places and stations, comments from the Returning Officer and any proposed changes can also be found on the same webpage.

The council is particularly keen to hear from people with a disability and any person or group with an interest in accessibility.

Hard copies will also be made available on request from the council’s elections office at the Municipal Offices in Grimsby.

After the consultation period has ended, council officers will prepare final recommendations for future arrangements.

These will be submitted to the meeting of North East Lincolnshire Council on 14 December 2023.

Article from NELC.

Full Council: Leader’s speech

“Although it’s only two months since my last Leader’s Statement, there is much to report,” Coun Philip Jackson, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, told the chamber at Grimsby Town Hall at the most recent meeting of Full Council.

“Today (September 28) we hosted a visit to the borough by Peter Freeman, the chairman of Homes England and some of his colleagues. We have developed an effective working relationship with Homes England, the executive agency of government with national responsibility for supporting and investing in regeneration led housing and infrastructure development. Homes England is engaged with us regarding our ambition for aspirational brownfield housing in Grimsby town centre and Alexandra Dock in particular. This strategic relationship is vitally important, and we will continue to strengthen it. It is reflective of the strong relationships we continue to enjoy with Government and Government agencies.

“Remaining with housing, the public consultation on the refresh of the NEL Housing Strategy has opened today. The future of housing in North East Lincolnshire and the challenges that must be overcome to ensure every person in the borough has access to good and affordable homes are highlighted. Taking a detailed look at accommodation across the area, it also provides an analysis of the area’s demographics, where the specific housing gaps are and the way in which those in need should and could be best supported to live independent lives. Once the Strategy is finalised, it will play into the review of NEL’s Local Development Plan, which is also currently underway.

“Turning now to our children and young people.  Strengthening our children’s services leadership arrangements is key to delivering sustained improvement and positive, lasting change. Members of the Appointments Committee were unanimous in their support for the appointment of Ann Marie Matson to the critically important role of director of Children’s Services – an individual with a strong and highly respected leadership and delivery track record, who is joining us from a local authority that is currently outstanding for children’s services.  This is an important milestone, and I am sure that all members will welcome our new DCS when she joins us in December.

“Our local Family Hubs are set to reopen in the next six months offering vital services to children and families in North East Lincolnshire. The hubs, which have been open in a reduced way since the Covid-19 pandemic, will benefit from funding from the Government’s Start for Life and Family Hubs Programme.  The council is one of 75 local authorities that have been chosen to pilot this programme. It aims to make a positive difference to, parents, soon to be parents, carers, and their children by joining-up services, making them easier to access and being seen as a ‘one stop shop’ for support.  Immingham was the first Family Hub to reopen last weekend.

“Turning now to regeneration initiatives, of which there are currently so many across the borough. Detailed plans have been submitted to transform Grimsby’s iconic Ice Factory into a huge office, studio, research, and events space. This Grade II-listed building has been an eyesore visible from one of the main arterial routes into the borough for many years. Entrepreneur and developer Tom Shutes, who acquired the derelict building from Associated British Ports in 2021, has submitted the ambitious plans for the building which once housed the largest ice-making machinery and produced up to 1500 tonnes of ice every day.  If approved, the Ice Factory will be transformed into a multi-purpose building, with offices, studios and research and development space for the green maritime sector, as well as a leading exhibition, conference, and live performance venue with a 1000-seat capacity. It will also include leisure and food and beverage space with car, coach, and cycle parking facilities. This proposed development sits alongside ABP’s ambitious plans for the regeneration of the historic buildings in the Kasbah area of the port and will help to ensure that the Port of Grimsby is a thriving part of the local economy for many years to come. The submission of the plans for the Ice Factory comes one month after plans were also submitted for a 161-room, five-storey hotel to be built next to it, providing a hospitality facility for people attending conferences and events at the Ice Factory, as well as providing much needed hotel accommodation for the offshore wind sector based in the port.

“Still in the Port of Grimsby, RWE Renewables UK has announced multi-million pound expansion plans for its Royal Dock base, due to complete next year. The significantly enhanced state-of-the-art operations and maintenance facility will play a national role.  RWE is already operating the Humber Gateway and Triton Knoll wind farms from Grimsby, with construction of Sofia underway and two further Dogger Bank sites under development. Once complete, the Grimsby Hub will host RWE’s Centralised Control Room, where technicians will oversee the operation of the vast majority of the company’s UK offshore portfolio, further reaffirming the Humber’s role as a leading location for the sector and generating many new jobs in NEL.

“Today, CATCH announced ambitious plans for the development of a £60 million state-of-the-art training facility, to reach a training goal of 1000 apprentices a year by 2029, at its Stallingborough headquarters, with the intent of tackling the engineering construction skill shortages anticipated in the Humber cluster and across the UK.  In anticipation of a series of Net Zero projects set to commence from 2024 and beyond, a significant demand for skilled labour is on the horizon. 

“These projects are expected to generate 20,000 new industrial jobs, necessitating an unprecedented, rapid upscaling of the existing skills pipelines.  The expansion plans have funding support from key industrial sponsors, and CATCH members, Phillips 66 Limited, Harbour Energy, and VPI Power.  Developing towards a future final investment decision, CATCH plans to continue to build broad support across industry and government for this new national net zero training centre.  This is clearly a very exciting development for North East Lincolnshire.

“Remaining with skills, Cabinet last month approved a Skills Acton Plan for North East Lincolnshire. The plan, which identifies some of the key challenges facing people in our area, looks to identify and take advantage of opportunities to improve the awareness of high-skilled careers and the educational attainment of adults. In North East Lincolnshire, 73.2% of people are economically active, which means they are either employed or actively seeking work, slightly lower than the national average. The rate of adults claiming universal credit is almost double the national figure. At the same time, employers in the area are struggled to recruit people with the right skills for the jobs that they have available. This is particularly alarming in the context of future growth of the area, with the energy industry alone expected to create more than 32,000 jobs by 2040 across the Humber, a further 7000 jobs expected to be created by the now operational Humber Freeport, and an ambition to deliver some 11,000 jobs by 2030 as part of the UK’s Food Valley across greater Lincolnshire. This afternoon, I opened a workshop for local representatives the education a business sectors to discuss how they can best collaborate to help deliver the new Skills Strategy.

“While on the subject of opportunity and skills, the Projekt Renewable container park will open on the Alexandra Dock next month. After two years and £300,000 funding from sponsors myenergi, RWE Renewables UK and the Town Deal, this will present a very different silhouette on Grimsby’s familiar Alexandra Dock.  Uniting the area’s future and past, situated next to an icon of Grimsby’s history – the Fishing Heritage Centre – and run largely on solar power, the arrival of this ground-breaking scheme promises not only to celebrate the opportunities presented by sustainable energy production in the area but act as a catalyst for bridging the gap between the industry and the local community, showcasing exactly how versatile, accessible, and promising renewables are, for everyone. 

“Projekt Renewable will be an aspirational beacon for Grimsby and beyond, especially for children and young people, showcasing the opportunities available in this exciting new area of the local economy. With the potential to extend and evolve, to suit the demands of both the local community and the renewables firms operating within the area, Projekt will further solidify North East Lincolnshire as a thriving renewables hub.

“Last week I attended the launch event of the Grimsby Town Centre 2025 Group, consisting of representatives from the retail and other businesses. They have secured funding for an 18-month project to help the town centre become a vibrant place, encouraging local businesses and communities to ‘be part of the positive’, with a view to improving civic pride and addressing negative perceptions about the town.  This very upbeat event included presentations from businesses investing heavily in the town centre, such as the Horizon Onside YouthZone, Parkway Cinema, and the NHS Community Diagnostic Centre, and emphasised the positive changes which will be delivered in Grimsby town centre over the next two years.

“However, antisocial behaviour and crime remain an area of concern in the town centre, whether it be genuine or perceived. This deters some people from coming into town and must be tackled if we want to see a continued increase in footfall. The problem has received much scrutiny from both Humberside Police and NELC engagement and enforcement teams, both reactive and proactive.  Problems include some young people congregating in intimidating groups, street drinkers causing public disorder, aggressive begging, cycling in pedestrianised areas and vandalism and graffiti. Currently, there is nowhere for the young people to go, and the Horizon YouthZone is 18 months away from opening.

“To address these concerns, a multi-agency project has been developed, with five interventions all dovetailing to create a community safety plan to minimise the threat of crime and disorder in the town centre.  The value of the project is £330k over 18 months with over 80% being funded through the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside. The interventions include:

  • A youth hub on Osbourne Street to divert young people away from causing ASB and crime.
  • Improved business security by enhancing the Grimsby Retail in Partnership (GRIP) programme to include licenced premises.
  • Enhancing the street scene and improve the perception of the town centre as a safe place free of crime and disorder.
  • Enhancing the night time street scene in support of the Night Time Economy and Violence Against Women and Girls agenda.
  • Improving the visible aesthetics of the town centre area by removing graffiti and working with graffiti artists to provide a safe place for them to tag.

“It is important that we tackle these ‘soft’ issues, as well as physically transforming the buildings and environment in the town centre.

“On the subject of law and order, North East Lincolnshire Council and Humberside Police are intending to vary three Public Space Protection Orders.  A public consultation is seeking the views on how the PSPOs can address the anti-social behaviour that is connected to the consumption of alcohol in Grimsby Town Centre, Peoples Park and Cleethorpes Town Centre and seafront.

“Also, a new initiative launched by the Home Office and Humberside Police aims to clear a Grimsby estate of crime. Clear, Hold, Build has seen an increase in officers aiming to eradicate organised crime from certain hotspots in different areas.  In North East Lincolnshire, police are focusing on the Nunsthorpe estate.  In other areas where Clear, Hold, Build has been implemented, there has been a positive impact with drug offences, anti-social behaviour and burglaries reducing significantly.

“Turning now to Cleethorpes, a new landmark building set to be created in the heart of Cleethorpes has been revealed. A three-storey building will be constructed at the former Waves site on the corner of Sea Road and the Promenade, comprising of state-of-the-art public amenities and changing facilities, as well as commercially lettable space across all floors of the building, which may include different providers in retail and hospitality. A planning application was approved in 2020 but work on the scheme was delayed due to the pandemic and lack of funding.  The latter was addressed when we received £18.4 million of LUF earlier this year for three Cleethorpes Masterplan projects. 

“The building is now proposed to include a pagoda on the first floor to enable outdoor seating area, and additional information has been included in the amended planning application about the configuration of the doors and windows, and the materials proposed to be used on the building. Earlier this year, on site preparatory works were undertaken. In the coming weeks, more information will be released about the site along with the neighbouring Pier Gardens and Market Place as those developments move forward.

“Last week, Natural England launched a new National Nature Reserve on the Greater Lincolnshire coast which marks the first in the new King’s Series of National Nature Reserves committed to enhancing biodiversity and nature recovery while connecting people with nature. The Lincolnshire Coronation Coast National Nature Reserve covers 33 square kilometres along almost 30km of the Greater Lincolnshire coast containing a rich variety of sand dunes, salt marshes, mudflats and freshwater marshes which are of international importance. 

“With its sand dunes and salt marsh, our Cleethorpes coastline is an internationally important landscape for wildlife. This is a first for North East Lincolnshire and the new National Nature Reserve provides an excellent opportunity for Cleethorpes to attract more visitors throughout the year and connect with nature.

“Brand-new funding opportunities were released to the local creative sector at the launch of Create North East Lincolnshire earlier this week. Building on the success of Grimsby Creates over the last three years, and following a successful bid to the Arts Council England, the work has been expanded to cover the whole of North East Lincolnshire for the next three years under the banner of Create North East Lincolnshire. The team that has helped facilitate a new lease of creative energy in the borough will be staying the same, working to deliver our Creativity Strategy for North East Lincolnshire. Three brand new funding pots have been launched – two that support new commissions and one that supports creatives in the borough to build on their development. The funding pots will focus on three strands from the Creativity Strategy: Children and Young People, Green and Sustainable, and Digital. The scheme will be funded from the Place Partnership Fund; NELC successfully bid for £450,000 in June this year.

“I turn now to devolution. Negotiations are well advanced with Government around a Greater Lincolnshire devolution deal. The focus is on devolved powers and funding as well as governance arrangements.”

‘Here to support Immingham families’ – Family Hub relaunches with new offer

Immingham Family Hub reopened last week after benefitting from Government funding, and is set to deliver a range of support and activities for local families.

The Hub, based on Margaret Street in Immingham, has been given a makeover and is staffed from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm, delivering parent and toddler activities, along with support for new parents.

Health visitors will use the site as a base for appointments, and new parents will have an opportunity to meet with other mums and dads.

Speaking at a family fun day held at the Hub last weekend, Councillor Margaret Cracknell, portfolio holder for children and education at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:

“The opening of the Immingham Family Hub has been a long awaited event, The facility will be a wonderful resource for the residents of Immingham and the surrounding areas.

“Becoming a family with the birth of a child is one of the happiest times of ones life. Every parent or carer wants the best possible for their child. Sometimes however, the responsibilities it brings seem huge, and the challenges can feel overwhelming for new and existing parents.

“We’ve all heard of the importance of the first 1001 days of the child’s life. And how the impact of those experiences will feature in future life. This is why it’s so important to have the reassurance that we are not alone, that there is someone to share and support when needed. It is natural to need this support and to have a network of friends and professionals to help at any time.

“This family hub will be the heart of the community and be responsive to family need. It will offer a positive service of peer support, health and wellbeing advice and child development to enable carers to have the best experience of raising a child.”

The site hosted a family fun day on Saturday, with face-painting, a tombola and chocolate board, and various stands. Children’s TV character, Bluey, cut the ribbon to the refurbished Hub in front of a crowd of parents and children.

The Hub is the first of seven sites to relaunch, offering an increased level of support to new and expectant parents.

Article and image from NELC.