North East Lincolnshire Council

Securing the Kasbah’s future

An important part of Grimsby’s industrial history has been granted Conservation Area status at today’s Cabinet meeting.

The Kasbah, developed in the 1870s on land between Royal Dock and Fish Dock No 2 on the Port of Grimsby, includes a network of smoke houses, warehouses and shops which create a distinctive “town-like” character.

It is now the only surviving area of traditional smoke houses in England, with six listed examples remaining and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status is already in place for traditional smoked fish products.

The Kasbah area also forms an important part of the setting of the grade I listed Dock Tower – perhaps the most iconic image of the town – and the grade II* listed Ice Factory.

This new status will mean that it will be easier for ABP, the landowners, to access opportunities of grant funding from Historic England, Heritage Lottery Fund and other partners in order to conserve and develop or re-use the heritage assets.

Cllr Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “This is an important building block of the Greater Grimsby Town Deal we have put to government. We will be working closely with ABP on the future of this historic area as part of that Town Deal, and look forward to the new future for our historic past.”

Louise Brennan, Planning Director, East Midlands at Historic England, said: “ This is fantastic news for Grimsby. The Kasbah is a very special place that has huge potential for regeneration. Across the country, developers and businesses are repairing and reusing historic buildings, turning local history into economic success. We believe that making the Kasbah into a Conservation Area will help make this happen in Grimsby and look forward to working with North East Lincolnshire Council and Associated British Ports. The Kasbah is now England’s newest Conservation Area in the 50th anniversary of this form of heritage protection and it’s fitting that it’s in the same county as the first – Stamford.”

Dafydd Williams | Head of Communications – Humber | Associated British Ports, said: “The Port of Grimsby has played a major role in the history of the town and has a major role to play in its future as well. The Kasbah is a great example of this as the historic buildings have the potential to attract new jobs and growth for the local area with the right investment and support. ABP is delighted to be working closely with North East Lincs Council and Historic England to help to make better use of the Kasbah whilst preserving its heritage for future generations.”

Background history

Grimsby was the first modern, industrial port in Britain, driven by the development of the railway industry. The layout of the area was determined by the position of the docks and the related railway lines.

The area’s smoke houses developed rapidly as Grimsby became a major centre for curing of fish with a variety of curing practices, often unique to the individual premises.

The buildings are broadly consistent in scale, comprising two and three storey buildings, generally with a narrow frontage. Many of the buildings utilise red brick although some buff brick is also used with stone or brick lintels. Some of the original roof coverings have been replaced.

It is argued that the layout and landscape of docks, quays, transport systems and collection of specialised building types found in the Kasbah forms the most important, surviving representation of industrial scale fishing trade in England. The Kasbah, including its spaces and specialised buildings, illustrates the evolution of the processes and functions within the port and wider fishing industry and its pivotal relationship with the railway.

What is included in “The Kasbah”

The boundary of the Conservation Area includes the majority of the buildings contained within the triangle of streets formed by Fish Dock Road, Wharncliffe Road and Cross Street. The conservation area contains 8 listed buildings in total and 11 sites suitable to be considered for local listing. The boundary has been established following consultation with ABP and Historic England.

Map of the Kasbah area


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