Riverhead Square development plans approved

3:32 pm, Thursday, 5th November 2020

A plan to reinvent Grimsby’s Riverhead Square into a safe and attractive ‘heart of the town centre’ was approved by councillors at the Cabinet meeting yesterday (4 November), following a £1m funding boost from central Government.

Designs have been released with the report revealing a whole-scale concept to transform the square, which takes account of the views of local people who took part in a virtual public consultation this summer.

It shows how the Riverhead could be turned into a major new public square that makes use of its waterfront, providing a canopied events space with new landscaping, lighting, signage, river footbridge, enhanced facilities for public transport users and street furniture. Work to improve the water quality in and around the Riverhead area is also planned, which includes a phased dredging programme.

The major redesign will be funded by some of a £25m ringfenced Government Towns Fund allocation. The initial work is planned to start in the new year, as overall plans are finalised and submitted for formal release of the main amount of money.

Cllr John Fenty, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I’m really pleased to see this project come forward. With the changes we’re already making to St James’ Square and to Garth Lane, this will help to bring the various parts of the town together.”

This initial ‘phase one’ will use £1m from the Government’s Accelerated Towns Fund – given to urban areas on the Towns Fund Programme to help improvement plans in the wake of coronavirus. A little extra has also come from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership’s High Street Challenge Fund.

The views of 450 local people who took part in a ‘Masterplan’ online consultation in August were considered when drawing up the plans. It was the view of scores of people that the Riverhead area, which falls into the town’s Heritage Action Zone, should become a waterside public square to bring the community together with events and activities – the town centre’s ‘heart’.

Comments included: “We would like to see more green spaces and places to relax,” and: “I love the idea of creating nice social space around the water. Another said: “Reuse the old buildings to make them look new and full of life again”, and: “In Copenhagen and many other cities, they have ‘containers’ for bars and street food/ice cream. I think these are a fantastic idea, low rental and overheads, but will attract hundreds of people.”