Former House of Fraser building acquired in drive to ‘transform’ town centre

The former House of Fraser building on Grimsby’s Victoria Street West has been bought by North East Lincolnshire Council, as it continues its drive towards town centre transformation.

Contracts have been exchanged and the sale, which has been advised by strategic partner Queensberry, also includes a leasehold on an adjacent car park.

The prominent five-storey building is within the council owned Freshney Place and has been empty since House of Fraser closed four years ago.

Council leader Councillor Philip Jackson said continuing to see this property unused was “not an option.”

He added: “In order to effect change, which we all know is needed, we must look at opportunities such as this with a view to shaping and guiding redevelopment.

“Town centres across the country have changed almost beyond what any of us would have anticipated and that is what we are determined to do here.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to re-invent Freshney Place and complement its retail offer with the new cinema, leisure attractions, and fresh new market.

“The House of Fraser building will now form an integral part of those plans. This is a good move for the town centre.”

Ongoing efforts to reshape Grimsby town centre are being backed by multi-million pound funding from central government.

This money has enabled improvements to St James’ Square and Garth Lane with its new footbridge, river dredging and extensive paving and landscaping.

Also, work has begun on the redundant St James’ House with the E-Factor purchasing the building to create a business hub.

This is in addition to the Future High Streets Fund, and projects earmarked for Towns Fund money including the full refurbishment of Riverhead Square, a plan for new housing at Alexandra Dock and the new OnSide ‘Horizon’ Youth Zone.

The latter involves turning redundant buildings along Garth Lane into a state-of-the-art centre for young people.

Meanwhile, initial work has now started with Queensberry on the Freshney Place Leisure & Market Hall scheme with its new cinema, market, and leisure attractions.

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