Hull is redefining itself as a key city of the North by building on the success of its 2017 City of Culture status and forging ahead with ambitious plans to become a world-class visitor destination.
Yorkshire’s Maritime Cityaims to make the most of its international spotlight by creating a lasting legacy.
Recently named as the UK’s third most improved city to live and work – finishing ahead of Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham- the city is also attracting new investment, and planning significant boosts to its visitor offer.
Work has started on a new Princes Quay Bridge, linking Hull Marina with the rest of the city centre, making it easier for pedestrians to cross the A63 to visit The Deep and waterside attractions, while a five-year, £27.5m project to highlight Hull’s maritime heritage is also now underway.
And the city is also still working towards an ambitious aim to deliver a £50m cruise terminal, allowing some of the world’s biggest passenger ships to dock in Hull.
All this comes on top of an investment of over £110m in hotels and venues over the last 12 months, including a new £25m DoubleTree by Hilton – the city’s first branded four-star hotel – and the opening of the Bonus Arena, a £36m state-of-the-art music, arts and conference venue.
There is no doubt that the UK City of Culture title was a historic milestone for Hull. Figures reveal that 2017 attracted a total audience of 5.3m, attending more than 2,800 events, cultural activities, installations and exhibitions – as well as bringing investments worth more than £219m and pushing up the value of tourism in Hull to more than £300m.
Now, as the city sets its sights on delivering on its aspiration to become a world-class visitor destination, work has begun on an extensive redevelopment of Hull’s historic maritime attractions. An initial facelift at the former North End shipyard to improve flood defence is part of a wider project being jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery and Hull City Council to make Hull’s maritime story a key part of the city’s tourism offer.
Over the next five years, plans will be developed and delivered to preserve Hull’s outstanding maritime heritage, architecture and collections, which include Hull Maritime Museum and two historic vessels, the Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship.
The Spurn Lightship has already been moved – for the first time in 30 years–while work takes place, but will return to a permanent home on the Marina once the new Princes Quay Bridge has been completed, which is expected to be in 2020.
Hull Yorkshire’s Maritime City Project will also see the city’s much-loved Maritime Museum open-up another entire floor to visitors with collections being rehoused in the adjacent Dock Office Chambers. This new space will allow the display of many more of the city’s world-renowned designated collections. For the first time, visitors will also have access to one of the Museum’s domes with its spectacular rooftop views across the city.
The plans will also see the North End Shipyard, once the original entrance to Queens Dock Hull and the place where HMS Bounty was built, house Britain’s last sidewinder trawler, Arctic Corsair.
For more details about visiting Hull, see: www.visit-hull.com.