ONE of the East Marsh’s grandest buildings, which remains under council ownership, will be the focus of a new plan to look at options for its future.
The former Holme Hill School, (pictured) most recently known as the Education Development Centre, is Grade II Listed with the centre piece being its clock tower and sits on the corner of Heneage Road and Wellington Street.
At a North East Lincolnshire Council Cabinet meeting this week, members agreed to support the start of further investigative work to determine what happens to the premises now.
A report considered by Cabinet stated how there were two separate business cases that were set to run in parallel. The focus of the Cabinet report was the main buildings, with an independent case for the clock tower already underway as part of North East Lincolnshire Council’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ programme.
The report detailed how an ideal plan for the main building would be to combine services, with a focus upon children and families, from five buildings – some currently leased – into one central ‘hub’ at Holme Hill. The process now needs to move on, to look at the finances surrounding the cost of renovation against the proposed savings and borrowing costs to achieve the aim.
The report added how the success of this plan would “allow investment into a Council owned Grade II Listed Heritage building, leading by example in regenerating the local area and improving the street scene.”
It further said: “This could also act as a catalyst for other property in the vicinity, owned by others, to be improved and used, which will result in a positive reflection to the street scene within this part of the borough. The use of the site will reduce miss-use, vandalism and/or antisocial behaviour and will ensure there is the opportunity for co-location of Council Services as well as partner, Third Sector and community use, all located within the East Marsh.”
It also stated how ward councillors would be involved in any process, and risks identified included the current spiralling costs of materials and labour. To mitigate that risk any approved plan would be reviewed at each stage.
Following the decision, North East Lincolnshire’s Portfolio Holder for Finance, Resources and Assets, Cllr Stephen Harness, said: “As with a number of other projects across North East Lincolnshire, we have already shown how we can work with partners to successfully restore some of our buildings and structures, often attracting grant funding and support to do so. I was delighted, for example, to see the recent result of continued work to restore the retail fronts and balconies along Alexandra Road in Cleethorpes.
“These projects can take a long time to plan, to arrange the funding and to execute but we are determined to do all we can to look at our options and support where possible, but we do so however being mindful of our overall council responsibilities with regard to the people of our borough and our priorities.”