Hull BID is working with Hull City Council and businesses to revive the fortunes of one of the city’s most important shopping areas.
Hull City Council Leader, Councillor Steve Brady, announced the appointment in November of Mark Jones, the Council’s Head of Economic Development and Regeneration, to lead a project to improve Whitefriargate and other areas of the Old Town. Hull BID City Centre Manager Kathryn Shillito said there are already encouraging signs in this area, but work will continue in an attempt to provide direct improvements for the area.
Among the ideas on the agenda was to examine proposals to put a roof over the street. Other proposals were to improve the street’s atmosphere by encouraging entertainment, and improve the look of the street by removing unnecessary signs. But Mark said the first move after his appointment would be to consult retailers in the area, and Kathryn confirmed that process was up and running very quickly.
“We were invited to a series of monthly meetings with Mark’s team and these have already started,” said Kathryn.
“At the December meeting we invited some of the Old Town businesses along so Hull City
Council representatives could get a clear picture of their views. The meetings will continue, and we will ensure Hull City Council is aware of the thoughts of Hull BID businesses.”
Kathryn confirmed that footfall figures for Whitefriargate increased month on month since April 2011 as a result of the programme of activities organised by Hull BID , its partner organisations and businesses themselves.
The finale of the Hull BID Fashion Week took place in Holy Trinity Church in April. The focal point of the Yum! Festival of Food and Drink was in Princes Dock Street and the Christmas celebrations also made full use of Holy Trinity Church.
“A year ago the footfall figures were reinforcing what businesses were already telling us - that not enough people were visiting Whitefriargate,” said Kathryn.
“Because of that we focused a lot more of our activity in that part of the city and we have definitely seen an increase in footfall as a result. “Hull City Council’s initiative is something we welcomed as soon as it was announced. We will continue to work together to improve the area and encourage new investment.”