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World renowned conservation architects appointed to take forward Kasbah plans

4:59 pm, Thursday, 5th March 2020

World renowned conservation architects and historic buildings consultants, Donald Insall Associates, have been appointed to take forward plans for a new creative workspace on the Kasbah on Grimsby docks as part of Grimsby’s Cultural Development Fund programme.

Appointed following a competitive tender process, over the next six months, the company will be looking at the architecture of a number of buildings on the port to assess their suitability for long-term future use by the creative industries sector.

This follows initial scoping work undertaken by Leeds based company, East Street Arts.

There are many possible permutations for a creative industries hub: it could be workspace-orientated or desk orientated (e.g. something like the Joiner’s Shop at Chatham Historic Dockyard) or it could be art, craft or artisan orientated studio space for example.

Following local consultation, the team will put forward the most suitable options for the buildings’ use, based on what local people and organisations want, along with an assessment in terms of financial and commercial viability.

Any agreed final option would be subject to the planning application process.

Cllr Callum Procter, Cabinet member for culture at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “We’re delighted to have awarded the contract to Donald Insall Associates to work with us on this key part of the town’s heritage story.

“Creative support, artistic events in Grimsby town centre and creating a creative commercial workspace in Grimsby docks presents a unique offer for culture to grow. These three strands of the CDF programme in Grimsby will help us attract more people to our area, increase audience and community involvement in cultural activities, with the aim  to see new major international events in the Town Centre, and more creative spaces for people to enjoy and work in.”

Tom Bromet, Senior Architect, Donald Insall Associates, said: “It is a real honour for us and our team to have been appointed for this important project. We are very excited to get started with exploring the buildings, unearthing their history and working with the local community to find the best possible solution for their future use.”

Dafydd Williams, Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs, at ABP Humber says: “It is an exciting time for the Port of Grimsby. Alongside the ever growing renewable industry and the automotive sector, the regeneration project in the Kasbah is helping to put Grimsby on the map. Heritage is important to the area and we think that addition of a creative space will complement the port.”

Other elements of work in Grimsby being supported by the Cultural Development Fund programme include: a new events and festival programme, the St James Square arts project, creating support for existing creative industries, and a business support programme for new start-ups in the sector.

As reported, The Kasbah sits within the Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) – an ambitious programme to rejuvenate some of the town’s ‘at risk’ heritage sites, which are of national significance.  Running until 2023, HAZ is part of the overarching Town Centre Investment Plan, the Local Plan for growth and is a major part of the Town Deal.

Other major projects that fall within HAZ include vacant buildings such as the Cooperage and Haven Mill and creating open space for events and activities around Grimsby Minster. Also included in the HAZ is the former West Haven Maltings building on Garth Lane where there are plans to develop a Youth Zone with the council working in partnership with national charity OnSide.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport funds the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England.

For more information about the Cultural Development Fund, visit

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