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‘There needs to be a reason for people to come back’ - Huge backing for £100m plan to transform Grim

Businesses have backed ambitious council plans to re-shape Grimsby with a landmark £100 million, ten year investment scheme that would deliver thousands of new jobs.

‘There needs to be a reason for people to come back’ - Huge backing for £100m plan to transform Grim

The Greater Grimsby project, unveiled by NELC yesterday, has seen some of the most powerful figures in the country forces to come up with a "trailblazing" scheme that, if approved, will create 5,400 jobs, 7,700 new homes and boost our local economy by more than £216 million.

Backed by the likes of ABP, Dong Energy, senior government ministers, entrepreneur David Ross and former Chancellor Norman Lamont, the "pioneering" town deal aims to make best use of Alexandra Dock, Victoria Mills and the borough's maritime heritage.

Further land acquisitions to create improved residential, business and education opportunities are outlined, eventually stretching to the Kazbah on Grimsby Docks.

A full run down of what we know so far on the council's grand vision for the future of Grimsby can be found here , and businesses in Grimsby are holding out hope that council can indeed capitalise on this opportunity to redevelop the town.

Darren Spencer, the owner of Abbey Gate store, Jazz Clothing, says "its about time" plans were put in place to regenerate Grimsby, and believes the town has been "drastically left behind" by other UK towns and cities.

He said: "That area (Grimsby docks) is an opportunity that has been sat there for too long.

"Most other towns like ours do have waterfront developments.

"I'm born and bred but at the minute the town centre is pretty dismal. Abbey Gate is the only shining light.

"For me, the council should have built any development around the Victoria Mills area.

"We have been left behind by Lincoln and basically every other town and city in the UK.

"I'm embarrassed about the town."

The Greater Grimsby Project will build on the £20 million Riverhead Square cinema and restaurant development.

But the owner of another Abbey Gate store, Jim Altoff, says that people need to be given more of a reason to visit Grimsby as a tourist destination.

He said: "Any investment will be beneficial. We need to bring more people in to the town.

"Private sector funding and people visiting the town go hand-in-hand.

"As a destination Grimsby has been left behind. The retail side is seriously lacking.

"We need to create a marina culture, where people can sit at cafés on the waterfront and relax.

"The town centre needs money spending on it and if you can link it with the docks then that would be the regeneration and growth we need."

Alfie Hope, the owner of Capital Collections for some 27 years, agreed that people "need a reason" to visit Grimsby.

He said: "The town centre needs addressing. From a retail point of view, shopping is the main concern for me.

"There is nothing here to pull people into the town centre. People need incentive to come here.

"Town centre redevelopment is key for Abbey Gate doing well.

"The thing is with these types of plans, they are started but never finished. Nothing seems to get followed through.

"People go out of town. There needs to be a reason for people to come back."

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