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Report looks at future of historic buildings

AN in-depth report into future options for three historic buildings along Grimsby’s Eleanor Street has been received by North East Lincolnshire Council.

The authority can confirm that it is now considering the ‘options appraisal’ into the possible future of Numbers 5, 7 and 9. Numbers 7 and 9, the latter being the former Art College, are Grade II Listed and the whole site sits within the Holme Hill Conservation area.

Despite the properties being privately owned the appraisal was commissioned in the summer of 2022 by North East Lincolnshire Council and Historic England as dialogue continues with the buildings’ owner about a way forward. It followed well publicised issues with vandalism, intruders, and arson attacks.

The authority is now starting the process of examining the major report, which was carried out by Property Regeneration experts Aspinall Verdi along with a team including architects, engineers, and cost consultants.

The council will engage with the owner and stakeholders, a lead body being Historic England, to examine the recommended options and seeks to reach a conclusion as to the best way to progress, stressing that ‘doing nothing is not an option’ for the landowner.

The report looks at what could be achieved with regards to grant awards, along with examining the financial implications surrounding the buildings’ future use. It does reference demolition, but due to the structures’ historic importance, it adds that Historic England would be highly unlikely to consider this option without much greater consideration of potential uses for the preserved structures.

It is also confirmed that a further security study of the site has been commissioned and received by Historic England, in conjunction with North East Lincolnshire Council, and shared with the landowner. Recommendations around urgent safety works to secure the site, protect the buildings and reduce risk to people are set out within it.

North East Lincolnshire Council Leader, Cllr Philip Jackson, said: “It is important that we work with the appropriate organisations to look at our options thoroughly and make the right decisions. This will be done over the coming months in the hope that we can reach a conclusion and move forward.

“This is what we want for the residents around Eleanor Street who we know have suffered in the wake of issues created by these buildings and their worsening state of repair. Whilst these buildings are privately owned, the council will do all it can to work with the relevant parties to find solutions. We need to be clear that doing nothing is not an option,” he added.

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