Restoration of Hull landmark begins to breathe new life into key city centre site

Pictured in front of the Castle Street Chambers building are Tom Cannon, Project Manager, left, and Jonathan Stubbs, Development Director, of developer Wykeland Group, with, rear, from left, Paul Thurlow, Director of The Yorkshire Demolition and Reclamation Company; James Lockwood, Director, ID Architecture; Keith Ritchie, Director, Voase Builders; and Rose Kennedy, Chartered Quantity Surveyor at LHL Group.

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

Castle Street Chambers, which is adjacent to the Connexin Live arena in Hull city centre, was built in 1900 as offices for Hull steamship owners and brokers Messrs G R 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.

A similar fate befell one of Hull’s oldest pubs, the neighbouring Earl De Grey, which dates back to the 1840s and was once a popular haunt for seafarers from around the world who docked in the city.

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

Now, a significant restoration project on Castle Street Chambers is underway which, once completed, will incorporate the reconstructed Earl De Grey.

Hull-based Wykeland Group is delivering the project, which will create more than 6,000 sq ft (557 sqm) of prime commercial space. Wykeland has liaised closely with National Highways, Historic England and Hull City Council to bring the restoration project forward.

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 have worked hard to bring forward this project which is now coming to fruition.

“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. That is certainly the case with Castle Street Chambers and the Earl De Grey.”

The first phase of the restoration will see the scaffolding removed from Castle Street Chambers, revealing the derelict building behind it.

Piling work will then commence 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 general improvement 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, facing the Connexin Live arena.

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 Thorngumbald, East Yorkshire, was appointed to carry out the first phase of the restoration.

The company will first 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.

“It’s great to be working with Wykeland again on another important project for the city.”

Hull-based Voase Builders was successful in a competitive tender process to carry out the 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 into a thriving urban village.

Keith Ritchie, Director of Voase Builders, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Wykeland on another historic, prominent building in the city.

“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 coordinating technical information from consultants.

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

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

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