Category Archives: Hull

New Whitefriargate Rooftop Bar To Be Created

Visitors to Hull city centre will soon be able to enjoy a new rooftop bar thanks to Levelling Up Funding.

Added Value Portal Limited has been awarded £75,000 from the government-funded scheme towards creating the facility at 55 Whitefriargate.

The project will include a multi-functional bar, food and leisure area on top of an extension at the back of the original building, creating six full-time equivalent jobs and adding to the area’s evening economy.

Once completed, it will accommodate up to 60 customers and will be accessed by a new staircase and chairlift.

Cllr Paul Drake-Davis, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “This project complements what is already a vibrant place for people to work and socialise. This new rooftop bar will enhance the appeal of the city centre as a destination to help drive footfall and boost the hospitality and evening economies.”

55 Whitefriargate, on the corner of Parliament Street, has undergone significant regeneration in recent years.

Built in 1879, the former bank is now home to Bar55, situated in the old bank vaults.

Gerard Toplass, The 55 Group chief executive, said: “Whitefriargate was the heart of the city for so long and it’s fantastic to be part of the regeneration that will bring life back into this fantastic part of Hull.”

“We have built our business in Whitefriargate and we are looking forward to continuing our investment with help from the Levelling Up Fund. We are excited about building an urban landscape and rooftop experience to rival what is available in cities like Manchester and London.”

In 2021, Hull City Council was awarded £19.5million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to support infrastructure and deliver a package of city centre regeneration works.

£7.5million of this being used for the Levelling Up Fund grant scheme, which aims to bring unused floorspace of any vacant or partially occupied property back into use and creating new jobs.

Similar to previous grant schemes in the Old Town, the Levelling Up Grant scheme will allow various diverse businesses to open and operate, breathing new life into the area.

Men in Sheds Hull Wins £5K Grant

Men in Sheds Hull, a charity working to reduce social isolation for older men, has won £5,000 of unrestricted funds from the John Good Group’s highly competitive Grants for Good Fund. The growing charity beat over 400 entries to be shortlisted in the top five, before capturing the hearts of John Good Group employees to attract the most votes.

Men in Sheds Hull aims to avoid detrimental health impacts of social isolation on older men by providing a safe and inclusive space for members to come together to undertake woodworking projects, offering social interaction and a sense of purpose in the community. As well as selling the products they create, the group regularly help other community organisations in the city, a recent project seeing them build garden furniture for a local community garden.

The charity was started in 2014 by Barry Cooper, a retired chef from Hull who had suffered from multiple strokes, after he saw a documentary on TV about a project called Men in Sheds in Australia. After struggling through the pandemic, they recovered well, increasing their services, updating their board of trustees, and employing a new manager – Nick Todd. As result of their success, they have recently secured a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund that will help keep their doors open for the next three years.

However, the services of the shed are in extremely high demand. Currently they are open four days a week with 46 active members, and 30 people on their waiting list. Equipment also regularly becomes worn and needs to be replaced or serviced, and there are ongoing costs for supplies such as wood, glue, screws and other equipment. Looking for help with these costs, they applied to Grants for Good.

Grants for Good is a charitable fund from the John Good Group that grants £60,000 annually to small community groups, charities or social enterprises that have a positive impact on people or planet. It is just one of the many CSR initiatives managed for the Group by the Matthew Good Foundation, whose mission is to amplify small charitable causes doing high-impact work that is often unseen and underfunded.

Every quarter, the fund receives around 400 applications to receive a share of £15,000, with just five making the shortlist. John Good Group employees then vote on the final five to decide which organisations get the biggest share, with the winner of the employee’s vote receiving £5,000.

In March 2023, the Matthew Good Foundation announced Men in Sheds Hull as the winner of the vote, securing the highest possible grant of £5,000.

Donna Jackson, a Trustee of the charity commented on the win, “We are so honoured to receive this funding and it’s really touching that so many of the John Good Group employees voted for us and made us this round’s winners. It will make such a difference to our members and volunteers. Our members are made up of people from all walks of life but with one thing in common, the shed. Some members are recently bereaved, others retired, many with physical and mental health issues. After the pandemic and its affects, there is now huge demand in the city of people who have and still do feel isolated and vulnerable.”

Adam Walsh, CEO of the John Good Group visited the shed along with Michelle Taft, Executive Director of the Matthew Good Foundation, during one of their sessions to meet the members who will benefit from the donation, talking to members about their experiences and the impact the shed has had on their lives.

One of the shed’s oldest members, aged 92, highlighted the importance of the charity remarking “I wouldn’t be here [alive] if it wasn’t for the shed.” A retired retail worker who joined at the age of 85 after losing his wife, his fellow members described how he was very quiet at first, but then they were “blown away” with the amazing intricate models he now creates having picked up new woodworking and 3D printing skills from others at the shed.

Another member who worked at a local shipyard before retiring was delighted to find something in common with the John Good Group, who have a long history in the shipping industry, talking with Adam about the boats he had worked on in his career, whilst also proudly showing off the beautiful wooden benches and arbours he now makes for the local community.

Adam described how the charity resonated with him during his visit, “Men can find themselves isolated and lonely very easily, especially when not in work. Whether that’s through retirement or other circumstances, it can be hard for men to find a purpose in life and the social connections that is vital to maintaining health, both mental and physical. Meeting the group that use the facility at Men in Sheds Hull, and seeing how it has given them the chance to create some brilliant pieces of work, whilst being able to openly discuss their stories with me was so refreshing. I’m delighted we’ve been able to help with our grant.”

“Charities like this are exactly the type that The John Good Group want to support. That’s why the work the Matthew Good Foundation does is so vital, connecting a business that wants to have a social impact, with a great charity doing amazing work in our local community. This is especially true for a business like ours, when we’ve not always got the time or expertise to do all the relevant due diligence ourselves whilst doing the day-to-day management. There’s still lots more impact we can make, and through our work with the Matthew Good Foundation, there will be plenty more coming from the group in the coming months.”

Megan Hayward Joins John Good Group As Group Marketing Manager

Hull, based, John Good Group is excited to announce its expansion to its senior leadership team as the group focuses on its ambitious growth plans for its subsidiaries and the John Good Group.

Megan Hayward, who joins as Group Marketing Manager, brings marketing experience from both a business and agency perspective, having huge success of a personal business, and more recently as a PR and Content Manager at a leading Marketing Agency in Leeds.

Commenting on her appointment, Megan said, “I am proud to be a part of the John Good Group team and to have the opportunity to work with such talented individuals. The culture and company ethos perfectly align with my own and I am excited to work within a market-leading business.”

As Group Marketing Manager, Megan will be responsible for supporting and developing the marketing strategy across the group’s subsidiaries and lifting the John Good Group brand on a local and national level.

Rich Quelch, John Good Group CMO, said, “We are delighted to welcome Megan to the John Good Group as the group’s Marketing Manager. Megan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and with Megan’s personal values aligning with John Good Group’s, we have no doubt that she will help the group accomplish its growth aspirations.”

New Maritime Themes Added To The Awakening Programme

This weekend The Awakening returns to Hull, lighting up our heritage-rich streets ready to say goodbye to winter and welcome in spring.

On 17 and 18 March, Hull city centre will come alive with work and performances from local, national and international artists.

For those travelling into the city centre, you can expect areas around Queens Gardens, Whitefriargate, Trinity Square and Zebedee’s Yard to be illuminated with wondrous installations and performance.

You can also explore the indoors through Ferens Art Gallery which will be open 6pm – 10pm both evenings for their permanent exhibitions and for an Awakening exclusive installation, and Trinity Market will also be open both nights for special editions of Trinity Live from 6pm – 9pm.

There have been some exciting new additions to the programme since the last update, with a further focus on Hull’s maritime connections both past and present. The Awakening is presented by Freedom Festival Arts Trust with one of the key partnerships being Hull Maritime who help shape how the producers plan to spotlight Hull’s maritime connections.

Local favourite, Andy Train will be taking to the streets as The Docker, which featured as part of the World Champion Living Statue trio ‘Three in a Boat’ as part of the Awakening in 2022. The characters represented some of the seafaring industries that shaped the city over the centuries and were a favourite with families and passers-by.

Another iconic Hull landmark will be joining in the activities. As Hull’s historical floating lightship, the Spurn Lightship has returned to its rightful place on Hull Marina and its new lighting will shine light on Hull’s current connection to our rivers and sea during The Awakening.

Organisers Freedom Festival Arts Trust encourage visitors to make use of their website for any travel and access information before the event.

On-site Guides are available at community centres and local businesses in Hull and East Yorkshire, and are also available at Central Library, Hull Station’s Info Pod and the Back To Ours Bransholme Chat at Northpoint Shopping Centre.

City’s Lightship To Return To Hull Marina

Following a major restoration, Hull’s historic Spurn Lightship will make a short journey to Hull Marina, to a temporary berth, on Thursday 9 March, subject to weather conditions.

Preparations to move the lightship are expected to get underway from 6.30am and is due to leave Dunston Ship Repairs on William Wright Dock at 7.10am.

The vessel will be towed along the Humber estuary by Deans Tugs and return to Hull Marina, following a 14-month restoration programme, thanks to Hull City Council and National Lottery players.

Local ship repair company, Dunston Ship Repairs have completed the work to give the Spurn Lightship a new lease of life and become a floating museum once again for visitors far and wide to enjoy.

The best vantage points to see the Spurn Lightship return to Hull Marina will be around the Humber Quays area.

The lightship will return to the temporary berth, along Humber Dock Street until work to install a permanent wet berth near Murdoch’s Connection is complete. The installation of an array of displays will tell the story of what it was like on board and information displays will now get underway.

Restoration includes a restored deck, shotblasting which has removed any corrosion, priming and several coats of paint which will protect this ship for future generations, as well as vast work to the cabin and below deck. Extensive replacements of damaged or modern fittings, rotten wood, corroded steel and cracked glass have been undertaken sympathetically, returning the vessel as much as possible to its original condition whilst improving visitor experience and accessibility.

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “It is fantastic to see the Spurn Lightship restored, breathing new life into the vessel. “This restoration will protect the lightship for the next 100 years, retaining its charm, integrity, and authenticity for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.”

“Preparations for its opening are now underway and we’re looking forward to see it reopen later this year for everyone to learn more about the lightship’s career and story and the role it played in Hull’s maritime history.”

Richard Bourne, Managing Director at Dunston Ship Repairs, said: “The restoration of the Spurn Lightship has been close to our hearts. The effort, time and passion by the team has been a delight to see. It has been great working with the Hull Maritime team and the Naval architects to breathe new life into the ship.”

“We are honoured to have restored the lightship and we hope we have done the city proud. Restored by the city on behalf of the city. It is not every day a ship repairs company restores a vessel to become a museum again, so naturally it has been a very different type of job for us. They are usually going back out to sea, and this is why it is so special.”

“The Spurn Lightship will now stand proud in Hull Marina once again and this restoration has secured the light vessel for future generations.”

Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The Spurn Lightship is well loved by the people of Hull, and we’re thrilled to see it return to Hull Marina following an extensive restoration programme, and that its summer reopening date is fast approaching.”

“It’s great to see Hull Maritime reach this milestone and continuing to ensure that Hull’s significant maritime heritage will be at the heart of its economic regeneration and ensure that it’s a city for all Hullians to be extremely proud of.”

Work to construct a permanent berth will get underway next week and is expected to be complete by June. The Spurn Lightship is expected to reopen to visitors in summer 2023.

Built in 1927 by Goole Shipbuilding, Light Vessel No.12 Spurn was based at the Spurn station outside the Humber. The lightship was key to guiding vessels as they navigated the Humber estuary. It was decommissioned in November 1975 then purchased by Hull City Council in 1983 and restored as the Spurn prior to being opened as a floating museum in Hull Marina.

The restoration of Spurn Lightship is part of Hull Maritime, a transformational project led by Hull City Council and funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It encompasses the major refurbishment of Hull Maritime Museum and Dock Office Chambers, the creation of a new attraction at North End Shipyard and the new home for the restored Arctic Corsair.

Charities Can Apply For An Award – The Matthew Good Foundation

The Matthew Good Foundation has increased the amount it will award through its established Grants for Good programme from £10,000 a quarter to £15,000. All shortlisted charities will receive higher amounts, and the award for the winning recipient each quarter will go up from £3,500 to £5000.

The Matthew Good Foundation is a charitable foundation, funded by the John Good Group. Their mission is to amplify small or local charitable causes, whose work is often unseen and underfunded, yet delivers high value social impact. They do this through a wide range of grant making processes, including grassroots project funding and an employee giving programme for the John Good Group. The Grants for Good fund launched in January 2021 and was the first initiative from the Foundation that invited organisations to apply to them for funding.

Initially, the programme awarded £10,000 a quarter to five causes, shortlisted by a panel at the Foundation. Foundation members – who are all employees of the John Good Group – then voted for their favourite to decide who got the largest share. The winner of the vote received £3,500, second place £2,500, third place £2,000 and fourth and fifth place £1,000. This process would be completed every quarter, meaning that annually, £40,000 was awarded between twenty different causes.

For 2023, the Foundation has increased its annual Grants for Good fund by 50% to £60,000, with £15,000 awarded each quarter to five successful applicants. The winner of the members vote will now receive £5,000, second place £3,500, third place £2,500 and fourth and fifth place £2,000 each.

Previous charities with successful applications include R;pple Suicide Prevention – a charity developing technology to intercept searches for potentially harmful online content, The Bank – a new community hub in West Hull, and Clean Planet – a team of trained divers using their skills to remove ghost gear from their local coastline.

The first organisation to be shortlisted and win the vote was Harry’s Hat, a charity founded by the family and friends of Harry, a baby diagnosed with hydrocephalus (water on the brain), with the aims of raising awareness, offering support to affected families, and funding research to improve outcomes. Caroline Coates – co-founder and newly appointed CEO of the charity reflects on the impact of winning the award, “From my personal perspective launching the charity meant sharing our own personal and difficult story, after-all Harry is my son. We wanted to be associated with a funder who genuinely cares about the causes it supports and took the time to get to know them, so the programme was a perfect match! As a newly formed charity, it was so encouraging to know that people believed in our cause and wanted to help. The support helped us launch our first book ‘Hydrocephalus What I wish I’d known,’ given for free to the parents and carers across the UK. So far, 475 families have benefitted directly as well as 20 neurosurgery units, 34 health visiting teams and numerous front-line workers. In the short time since gaining the award we have supported over 350 families, secured grants to enable us to employ skilled staff to deliver support, funded front-line workers to learn more about the condition, been shortlisted for prestigious national awards and media coverage, and trebled our income.”

Highlighting the reason for the recent award increase, Michelle Taft – Executive Director of the Foundation said, “Those shortlisted for Grants for Good are often extremely innovative, with real potential to grow their impact on society, yet small charities often struggle to secure funding, particularly funding that is unrestricted. Having seen the impact Grants for Good has had on its beneficiaries over the last two years, we hope this increase in funding available will further help both small and new not-for-profit organisations to thrive.”

Adam Walsh, CEO of the John Good Group commented, “Supporting the Matthew Good Foundation is an essential part of our people and social responsibility strategy at the John Good Group. We believe in giving back to our communities and helping small, local charities that may not receive the attention or funding they deserve. Our employees are at the heart of this initiative, as they have the opportunity to decide where the donations go and make a real impact on the causes they care about. We are proud to be associated with the Foundation and its mission to amplify the voices of small charities and organisations that can make a significant difference with a small grant.”

The Grants for Good fund is designed to be deliberately easy for very small charities or new community interest groups to apply for, with simple guidelines and a minimum amount of information needed to get started. Applicants do not necessarily need to be a registered charity, they could also be a local community group, voluntary group or social enterprise. They must have a positive impact on people or the environment, and their annual income must be below £50,000. Shortlisting is performed each quarter, but applications are open all year round, so those looking to apply can do so whenever they are ready. Full details of the programme and an online application form can be found at here.

Internationally Renowned Installations Revealed In Hull

The Awakening is returning to Hull in 2023, bringing a new perspective to our maritime identity. This week, the team is revealing more information about the artists coming to Hull as part of the event.

Freedom Festival Arts Trust has curated a creative programme of installation and performance which highlights the city’s relationship with nature, the changing of the seasons and folkloric traditions. In partnership with Hull City Council and supported by Hull Maritime and the Heritage Action Zone, focus is drawn to historic parts of the city centre around Queens Gardens, Whitefriargate, Ferens Art Gallery, Trinity Square and Zebedee’s Yard.

Audiences can wander into the city centre to enjoy an awe-inspiring experience on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 March from 18:00 – 22:00. All the way from Australia, company Parer Studio and Artist Amanda Parer, a (literally) big highlight of the evening will be experiencing Intrude, a family of giant bunnies who will take over the Rose Bowl.

Looking across to Queens Gardens, witness Nature Nocturnal, a kaleidoscope of colour as we see the natural world at night through beautiful glowing and twinkling lanterns created by Liverpool’s Lantern Company. These works bring a new lens on this space of maritime history, which had transitioned from town dock to green space in 1935, and are the last events in the calendar before it undergoes major works.

Mikey Martins, CEO & Artistic Director at Freedom Festival Arts Trust, said: “The Awakening aims to bring new perspectives to our wonderful maritime identity by uncovering themes through the creative programme. The installations and performances will focus on the city’s relationship with nature, the changing of the seasons and folkloric traditions.”

“So, make your Fox Masks, pop them on, let’s celebrate the end of winter together and create a new annual tradition for Hull.”

Moving down past Whitefriargate, throughout the night at various times, audiences will be treated to sound and visual performance from four companies including local artist Andy Train, alongside the popular Worldbeaters’ Spark! Drummers and An Act Above’s Lightwalkers, and returning favourite from last year, Sound Intervention’s Projector Bikes.

At Zebedee’s Yard, meet Unfurl, the world’s largest and softest robots, a garden like no other where nature, art and technology combine. And wander down Posterngate to come play in Trinity Square, filled with light, sound and interactive games by French company Groupe LAPS.

Just like last year, many local businesses will be opening their doors later than usually to celebrate the event and accommodate visitors. Some venues will be offering refreshments and their own entertainment, and others are hosting special events as part of The Awakening programme.

Ferens Art Gallery will be opening their spaces later the usual and are offering another chance to see the fascinating film and music projection piece, RE:SCORE by The Broken Orchestra (a favourite from last year) in their studio space, as well as a brand new unique immersive music performance called Riparian on 18 March at 20:00.

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “This exciting programme is an invitation for everyone to come together and enjoy this spectacle across the city centre, celebrating the change in seasons from winter to spring and our maritime links.”

“The line-up of international installations and performers is world-class, and I am sure people will be inspired by this spring festival as well as appreciate our wonderful spaces, art gallery and collections.”

There will be plenty to see and experience at this year’s Awakening. A digital copy of the on-site guide and the #FreedomFox mask pack is now available on their website, and you can expect more resources and information coming out this week.

Council Supports Projects Through Prosperity Fund

Hull City Council is delighted to announce it has been able to support a host of local organisations in the first round of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

In total, £1.1m was distributed between 29 projects which were the recipients of funding ranging from £4,000 to £100,000. The council invited groups to apply last autumn and received numerous applications for round one of the grants.

The successful projects range from local businesses, social enterprises, voluntary and community sector groups and the public sector giving access to training, volunteering, improved community facilities and increased access to arts, festivals, and cultural activities.

Delivery of the schemes began earlier this year and are due to be completed by 31 March.

Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, said: “I am very happy that we can support these local projects with grants from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.”

“It’s good to know that these projects are now in a position to come to fruition thanks to the council’s support and I look forward to seeing the final outcomes.”

The UKSPF is a key part of the government’s Levelling Up agenda.
Its funding aims to promote high quality skills training, supporting pay, employment and productivity growth and increasing life chances.

It supports the delivery of economic improvements in Hull aligned to the government’s Levelling Up Programme, which has three main priorities: communities and place, supporting local business and people and skills.

Round two of the UKSPF sees a further £5m being made available for use between April 2023 and March 2025.

Hull To Boost Filming Locations

Hull is stepping up its profile as a filming location hotspot just as Apple TV arrive with the city’s biggest production to date.

‘Blitz’ is currently filming at locations across the city, including Hepworth Arcade and Walton Street fairground, over the next two and a half weeks, and has recruited more than 750 extras to be involved.

Hull City Council is now capitalising on this and other successful productions, including Enola Holmes 2, The Crown, The Extraordinary Life of David Copperfield and A Royal Night Out, by developing a TV and Film Prospectus and marketing plan.

The prospectus will detail how the council has moved from simply being a location finder to a full-service provider. It sets out all the services the council can offer, including professional management services, client liaison and onsite operational delivery.

The council’s partnership with Screen Yorkshire has helped to showcase the city to national and international location managers and producers, resulting in regular site visits and more filming already scheduled. The prospectus will help to further promote the city’s offer to this important creative sector.

The Leader of the council, Councillor Mike Ross, said: “The council’s events and destinations teams have been working closely with film and TV location managers for a number of years now, building strong relationships and the reputation of the city as a prime location.”

“It is clear we can and do provide more than just somewhere that looks great – we have an incredibly professional set-up and our reputation is building across the film industry.”

“But now we want to take it up to the next level, and that’s why we’re now launching our prospectus. I am sure our city can reap the reward as Hull takes on more of these exciting productions.”

“Having these large-scale productions in the city is not just fantastic for our residents to see and be part of – it has a real financial benefit. With crews filling our hotel spaces and using our leisure and hospitality offer, most productions will recruit extras from the local area too. This brings in upwards of £250,000 direct spend across the city’s hospitality, retail and accommodation sectors.”

Apple TV’s current filming continues this month across various locations. The TV and Film Prospectus will be launched shortly.

Rooftop Worker Scheme

Arco, the UK’s Leading Safety Company, is advising businesses that operate within the telecoms industry to ensure all workers are trained in accordance with the new Rooftop Worker – Safety & Access Scheme set out by The Energy and Utility Skills Register (EUSR).

The Energy and Utility Skills Register (EUSR) has released a new training qualification, the Rooftop Worker – Safety & Access Scheme, consisting of 15 units and containing both theoretical and practical assessed elements. The scheme recognises the knowledge and skills required to access flat roofs with a variety of personal fall protections systems.

The new scheme has been developed in collaboration with the Mast & Tower Safety Group (MATS), which consists of organisations that own or manage masts and towers where there are specific and significant work at height and occupational radio frequency (RF) hazards.

Although designed for anyone wanting to work safely at height and understand the dangers of working on rooftops, the scheme will become the recognised qualification for those working on telecommunication infrastructure, with leading telecoms companies stating that completing the scheme is now mandatory to work on their sites.

New training or refresher training, since the 1st of January 2023, must now be completed to the new EUSR syllabus and conducted by an EUSR accredited training provider. Certificates attained prior to this date will remain valid until they expire, including the Arqiva Rooftop Worker training, meaning that the 1st of January 2026 will mark the first time that the only certification in use across the industry will be the new scheme.
According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), a total of 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents in Great Britain in 2021/22, with falls from a height being the biggest contributor, accounting for 24% of these (29 people).

As experts in safety, Arco is encouraging businesses that work in the telecoms industry, to take note of the new scheme and to ensure their staff receive the correct training to best protect those working at height.
Steve Dawson, Manager – Working at Height Training at Arco Professional Safety Services, said: “Falling from height is still one of the most common work-related accidents and is proportionally the largest contributor of work-related deaths, therefore it is vitally important that those who work at height receive the proper training and are undertaking their work in compliance with the necessary regulations and are adhering to industry best practice.”

“As experts in safety, we are pleased to announce that we have become an approved provider of the EUSR (MATS) Rooftop Worker – Safety & Access Scheme, with the training becoming an integral part of our course portfolio to help keep workers safe. Furthermore, we will be offering this training scheme at our new, state-of-the-art training facility in Bracknell, Berkshire.”

Arco Professional Safety Services offer the one-day Rooftop Worker – Safety & Access Scheme course, at its safety training centres in Linlithgow (Edinburgh), Trafford Park (Manchester), Eccleshall (Stafford) and Bracknell (Berkshire).  For more information about the training available, click here.