A developer which has earned a reputation for bringing old buildings back to life in spectacular fashion has added Danish Buildings to its portfolio having completed the purchase from Hull City Council.
Work is under way internally to turn more than 20 offices into exciting new space for emerging creative individuals and businesses. Meanwhile Hull-born, Leeds-based artist Emma Hardaker has begun the transformation of the exterior with a bright new mural.
Renovation projects completed by Allenby in Hull city centre in recent years include the conversion of a former brewery to create The Maltings office development, rebuilding a Georgian property in Alfred Gelder Street to house Allenby’s own business and turning vacant units alongside Hull Minster into Hideout Apartment Hotel. Last month Allenby began work on improving units in Paragon Arcade, after buying the historic shopping site.
The deal for Danish Buildings, which includes the Grade II listed Bayles House, has been on the company’s radar for several months.
The property was constructed in the late 17th century and altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. Bayles House was listed in 1952. It sits next to the iconic Scale Lane Bridge and the Lion & Key pub, and opposite Ye Olde Black Boy.
Andy Hayton, Managing Director of Allenby Commercial, said:
Altogether the property gives us 6,000 square feet of space. It’s an important site for the city, tucked away a little but also on a main thoroughfare in terms of the Museums Quarter, the Hull Fish Trail and the general tourist trail.
“Scale Lane Bridge is a great attraction in its own right and its profile was heightened even further as one of the locations for the Sea Of Hull project. The side of Danish Buildings was used as a screen for some of the spectacular projections which kicked off the City of Culture year. The next major project will be the creation of a maritime heritage project, and our riverside berth puts us in the perfect location for that.”
Charlie Allenby, the company’s Contracts Manager, added:
It’s in a great location, it’s got stunning architectural features and it’s screaming out for some love and attention. There are more than 20 offices across three floors and they have wonderful natural light with great views of the city and across the river.
“We will put in another entrance door at the back, facing the river and we will open up other parts of the building to provide managed workspace for creative businesses. Occupancy is about 40 per cent at the moment and includes some of the City of Culture team. We will make it the place to be with brilliant communal areas, a nice environment, breakneck internet speeds, new flooring, nicely decorated throughout and with parking available nearby.
“It’s in the heart of the Old Town, a two-minute walk from Humber Street and the Marina and with a superb social scene on its doorstep, surrounded by historic pubs and restaurants with great character. The improvements are under way and the space is available now. It’s about the culture of being able to live, work and play in the centre of Hull.
“It’s no secret that City of Culture is attracting more investment into Hull, and that’s one of the reasons we were crowned most enterprising city in the UK earlier this year. Many people are now wondering what is next, and with the Heritage Action Zone scheme and the maritime heritage project there’s a sense that things are just beginning.”
Alex Birdsall, a videographer who is building the Colab online creative community, became the first new arrival at Danish Buildings after the Allenby investment. He said: “I heard about the premises from a friend, I came to have a look and I loved it. There are some other creative businesses working here but most of the space is empty. That will definitely change because it’s such a great building and the location is fantastic. It’s a great part of the city.”
Emma, part of the Leeds-based creative duo Modes of Expression, said:
I am from Hull and had been looking for opportunities to come back here and paint so I was delighted when Allenby Commercial found me online and contacted me.
“It’s taken five days to complete the mural and it’s been great fun working in Hull for the first time in eight years and chatting to the passers-by. Everybody seems to really like it.”