Historic Grimsby smokehouses to benefit from AHF grant

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The Architectural Heritage Fund is today announcing funding of £5,000 to the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust to develop a project viability study on Peterson’s Buildings, a Grade II listed smoking factory and tower in the town’s historic fish dock area, known as the ‘Kasbah’. The factories and shops found here form the most important surviving representation of industrial scale fishing trade in England.This funding comes at a time when a new Historic England supported ‘Heritage Action Zone’ is about to get underway. 

Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish has European protection as a (PGI) product and is recognised as part of Grimsby’s unique culture. The Ice Factory Trust wants to explore the potential for restoring the smokehouse, and of training apprentices in traditional industry techniques, as well as considering other artisan food production and retail as part of the scheme.

Grimsby, once the greatest fishing port in the world, has been the focus of national campaigns by SAVE Britain’s Heritage, the World Monument Fund and others concerned about the neglect and loss of buildings in the historic fish dock area. The Kasbah area was granted Conservation Area status by Historic England in October 2017 and this was followed by the announcement of the Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone, which stretches from the Kasbah into the town centre and is now at the heart of regeneration plans for the town. The scheme will be run by North East Lincolnshire Council and Historic England, with support from Associated British Ports. Over five years, to 2023, it will bring neglected buildings back into use for employment and help stimulate a revival of the town’s economy. 

Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund said “The AHF is delighted to offer viability funding to this project. It offers the potential to act as a cataylyst for the heritage led regeneration of the wider Kasbah area and to show the potential of private, public and community sectors working together on schemes of this type.’ 

Vicky Hartung, Chair of the Great Grimsby Ice Factory Trust said “This is fantastic news. The support from AHF coupled with match funding from Associated British Ports will enable us to pull together everything we already know about these buildings, test our ideas for their future, and begin crunching the numbers to ensure our plans are financially viable.”

Simon Bird, ABP’s Port Director Humber said: “The Peterson’s Project is the first move in our plans to open up the historic Kasbah to a programme of heritage-led regeneration. We are delighted to be working on this project with local stakeholders in order to find sustainable, commercially viable uses for these important buildings which will ultimately help to underpin North East Lincolnshire Council’s regeneration strategy for the town.”

Louise Brennan, Planning Director East Midlands, Historic England: “We are delighted that the AHF are able to support the Ice Factory Trust in developing plans for Peterson’s Smokery. One of the very distinctive things about the Kasbah area is the number of listed fish smokeries that survive and in some cases continue to process and smoke fish. This grant is another important step forward in securing the repair and revitalisation of the Kasbah."

Editor’s notes

1) The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. We are the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans.

2) Funding for this project was generously provided under the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Community Enterprise through Heritage’ programme.

3) For press enquiries please contact Oliver Broderick Ward, on 020 79250199 / oliver.brodrick-ward@ahfund.org.uk