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The Great Escape secures £150,000 heritage cash grant

2:00 pm, Tuesday, 25th January 2022 - 2 years ago


A fantastic project on Grimsby’s historic docks has received a heritage grant worth £150,000 to help them turn their plans into reality.

The Great Escape is a venue where creativity inspires people to achieve their dreams and is run by Creative Start CIC.

The community interest company, based in the Conservation area, applied to the PSiCA grant scheme for funding to carry out essential external repair and renovation work on its leasehold premises – The Great Escape.

This will enable them to make the repairs needed to the building, which will comply to heritage requirements – ensuring The Great Escape continues to show people what is possible, and how they can use art as a vehicle to achieve their ambitions.

Famed for its ‘Steve McQueen’ mural on the side wall, the Great Escape has been developed by Sam Delaney and the Creative Start team as a community-driven project. Many people have been involved in the restoration including veterans, art students, creative professionals, and community volunteers.

“We want as many people from the community to be inspired by the work we are doing, to come down here and look at how we can regenerate both ourselves as people, and in turn this area and the town. If we can do it anyone can,” said Sam.

“This grant will allow us to make the building secure, and then we can remodel the interior to provide creative workspaces for people as well as the main arts workshop space.”

The grant is from the current heritage fund called “PSiCA” (Partnership Schemes in Conservation Areas) being delivered as part of the Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone (HAZ). The PSiCA scheme has a total pot of £1m, and is a joint project between Historic England and North East Lincolnshire Council, with support from ABP and the council’s regeneration partner EQUANS. 

For those behind the culture and heritage led regeneration projects in Grimsby, there is an understanding that whole communities must be embraced if the changes are to be successful in the long-term.

North East Lincolnshire Council Cabinet member for Tourism, Heritage and Culture, Cllr Callum Procter, said: “When we look at the work underway across the town, such as the recently completed St James’ Square and Garth Lane, we have some incredibly exciting regeneration projects that will transform how these areas look. However, if we are to effect lasting change, we must also look at making areas such as the Kasbah areas that are safe and welcoming to work in and can attract creative and other industries and people to use this area as a base to work. 

“A large part of that change will come if we can find ways of working with people across our communities to improve wellbeing and life chances. The cultural work that is taking place will go towards achieving that, along with the support the work can give to local organisations,” he added.

Simon Bird, Director ABP Humber said: “It’s wonderful to see the Kasbah come to life and the regeneration that is taking place. It is a positive for Grimsby and much needed space for local businesses to base themselves.”

Clive Fletcher, Historic England’s project lead for Grimsby Heritage Action Zone, said: “Historic England is delighted to support this project, which will secure the future of historic buildings on Grimsby’s Kasbah. The support from Creative Start, which does so much worthwhile work in the community, is particularly welcome.”

The PSiCA grant scheme is open to businesses on the Kasbah or organisations that may be interested in moving to this conservation area. Anyone interested should contact Stella Jackson, Heritage Action Zone Project Manager, at [email protected].

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