The work at St James Square is continuing at pace.
Using Scoutmoor Yorkstone, initial work concentrated on the wider footpath in front of St James’ Hotel. This reopened on Monday and allows direct access between the underpass and the Wilko’s building.
The diversion around the rear of St James’ House was closed following the reopening of the hotel footway prior to the clocks going back and the nights getting darker, earlier. With the walkway running down alongside Wilko’s not yet open, all pedestrians are being directed in front of the hotel into Victoria Street West (the Bullring area).
In the main centre of the Square the exterior of the labyrinth is taking shape, and you can clearly see the arch of its outer circle from outside the works area.
The foundation for the base of the Fishermen’s Memorial Statue is in position with the main stone paving for the plinth on its way. The statue remains in safe storage to be returned towards the end of the project.
Work on the main entrance area to the west of the Minster will be starting soon with the paving lifted and returned, re-grouted, and the steps removed. The area around the finished paving will be landscaped with wildflowers.
Meanwhile, the artists are progressing well with their individual cultural projects. Annabel McCourt has held successful ‘pop-up’ events at Freeman Street and Top Town markets taking pictures to contribute to her ‘murmuration’ work. This will see copper silhouettes of the ‘real people’ of Grimsby, which are to be displayed in the Square.
Adrian Riley is concentrating on selecting and designing words and phrases that reflect the sights and sounds of Grimsby, which will be etched onto a length of central walkway. His designs are currently with The Minster for consideration.
With a completion date due in March next year, the £1.8m revamp of this central area in front of the Minster, is progressing well and on schedule.
Under the management of North East Lincolnshire Council’s regeneration partner ENGIE, contractor CR Reynolds has been leading the remodeling the whole area with the aim of creating a family-friendly public space that is safe for all to enjoy.
In doing so, the council’s Cabinet members have pledged to look closely at issues surrounding anti-social behaviour in the area to ensure that people are able to sit, relax and feel comfortable in these new surroundings.
Pleased with the progress so far Cllr Fenty, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We wish to take this opportunity to thank people for their patience whist this project continues, and we all look forward to seeing the finished Square, which will offer a family-friendly environment with new seating, lighting and landscaping. This project forms part of a raft of works, all supported by grant funding, to enhance and revitalise our town centre.”
St James’ Square lies within Grimsby’s Heritage Action Zone. The main project work is being supported by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (Humber LEP) as part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse. The art project to help introduce creativity into the Square is also supported by the Cultural Development Fund, (CDF), which is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and administered by Arts Council England.