St James Square and Grimsby Minster are key features in the town centre and part of the town’s rich heritage. Together with the surrounding buildings, they create a tranquil and enclosed green space which is ideal for hosting open air and cultural events.
The council has been working with partners to create a vibrant community area that complements Grimsby Minster’s role as a heritage and arts centre.
The project has been supported with £1.3m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Humber LEP and part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
Scheme proposals were agreed by North East Lincolnshire’s Cabinet earlier this year, following engagement with local stakeholders and residents of the town.
Since then, a few small changes have taken place during the detailed design phase and these will now be incorporated into the scheme, which is due to be submitted for planning this month.
The design changes include; the seating to the West of the Minster which will be replaced by a wild flower garden, vehicular access for weddings and funerals will be via the current route to the north of the Minster and the Fisherman’s memorial will be repositioned to create an appropriate gathering space for the annual Lost Fisherman’s Memorial Service.
The proposal for the square retains the large lawned areas and will include natural stone footpaths, the labyrinth design in the footpath, adjacent tiered seating and the remembrance tree, which was recently planted in 2012 by the family and friends of Emma Smith. The scheme will also include new seating, signage, lighting and improved CCTV and controlled vehicular access.
Cllr John Fenty, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “St James Square is a focal point in Grimsby for a lot of arts-based activities. We have talked with people about what they wanted to see there, and taken on board lots of comments and suggestions. Once this is created, there will be a lovely space for cultural activities in the town – all part of our long-term plans for Grimsby town centre.”
Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP said: “This scheme is an exciting opportunity to make the most of Grimsby’s Heritage Action Zone and create a valued public space that can be enjoyed by all. By making these improvements to St. James Square, the area will be given an increased vibrancy, which will encourage further investment.”
There are two phases to the project and the first phase will focus on improving the public space and area in St James Square. Phase two will focus on the re-development of St James House.
If planning permission is granted, work is likely to start on the St James Square project in early 2020.