Restoration works aim to breathe new life into key part of city centre

Regeneration specialist Wykeland Group has begun a £2m restoration project to revive Hull’s Castle Street Chambers building and former Earl De Grey pub.

Castle Street Chambers, next to the Connexin Live arena in Hull city centre, was built in 1900 as offices for Hull steamship owners and brokers Messrs GR Sanderson.

The Grade II-listed building has been unoccupied since the 1970s and has fallen into dereliction, supported by protective scaffolding for more than 20 years.

The neighbouring Earl De Grey pub, which dates back to the 1840s, was once popular with seafarers from around the world.

In 2020, the Grade II-listed Earl De Grey’s frontage was removed brick by brick, before being placed into storage, prior to the start of the ongoing £350m A63 Castle Street improvement scheme.

Now, a significant restoration project on Castle Street Chambers is underway which, once completed, will incorporate the reconstructed Earl De Grey. This will create more than 6,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Wykeland development director, Jonathan Stubbs, said: “Castle Buildings is one of the most complex and challenging restoration projects we’ve undertaken. 

“Having been unused for decades, the building is understandably in a very poor condition. Since acquiring the site in recent years, we’ve worked hard to bring forward this project.

“That has included taking down the Earl De Grey before the A63 works, while retaining its listed frontage in order that it can be reinstated as part of this exciting development.

“In all of our restoration projects, protecting and enhancing heritage is at the forefront of our approach.”

The first phase of restoration will see the scaffolding removed from Castle Street Chambers.

Piling work will then begin at the site of the new Earl De Grey, before Castle Street Chambers is re-scaffolded for roof and window repair work, as well as improvements to the brickwork.

A small single-storey extension will be built on the side of the building, before the frontage of the Earl De Grey is brought back to the site and reassembled.

The full restoration project is expected to take around a year, with completion due in early 2025.

The Yorkshire Demolition and Reclamation Company, based in East Yorkshire, was appointed to carry out the first phase.

The company will remove the scaffolding and hoarding surrounding Castle Street Chambers, before carrying out work on the internal strip-out of the building.

Paul Thurlow, director at Yorkshire Demolition, said: “We have a long history of working with Wykeland Group on significant projects in Hull and the surrounding area.

“We were the first company on the site of the C4DI building in Hull’s Fruit Market, taking down some of the old warehouses that were previously on site.”

Hull-based Voase Builders was successful in a competitive tender process to carry out restoration of Castle Street Chambers and the rebuilding of the Earl de Grey.

Voase has previously worked with Wykeland on projects to rejuvenate derelict buildings in Humber Street as part of the transformation of the Fruit Market.

Keith Ritchie, director, said: “Castle Street Chambers, including the incorporation of the Earl De Grey, is exactly the sort of project we love working on – restoring historic buildings to their original glory.”

Grimsby-based ID Architecture has supported the project through a variety of services – from concept and detailed design of both Castle Street Chambers and its single-storey extension, to acting as Wykeland’s planning agent and co-ordinating technical information from consultants.

LHL Group, which has offices in Hessle, has acted as the employer’s agent for Wykeland, supporting management and delivery of the project.

Castle Street Chambers restoration is supported by £162,000 of Levelling Up Funding, allocated by Hull City Council.

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