A VITAL step in the transformation of St James Square has been taken, paving the way for further investment from local company the E-Factor supported by Central Government grant funding.
North East Lincolnshire Council’s Cabinet has approved a business case to renovate the redundant St James House into a business hub. Whilst not putting any council cash into the scheme, authority approval was needed to enable the release of Government monies.
E-Factor wants to secure a £1.5m slice of Towns Fund money, which has been officially allocated by Central Government for town centre improvements. This money, which must be spent on urban renewal and regeneration projects, will be supplemented by significant private E-Factor investment.
The move provides a major boost for the Square and follows directly on from the work that has already been carried out. Just last week the ‘murmurations’ artwork by local creative Annabel McCourt has been unveiled as the final creative piece to be finished. In recent weeks too, the Minster has looked fantastic with a new lighting system enabling images and colours to be projected onto the building. There has also been new paving, landscaping, planting, lighting, and CCTV.
North East Lincolnshire Council leader, Cllr Philip Jackson, said: “St James House has been run down for many years, and with the success of the Wilkin Chapman building on Cartergate and the redevelopment of St James Square, a key heritage asset in the town, the next step was to deal with the redundant building in a way that can increase footfall in the town centre and provide benefit to other local businesses.
“I’m delighted E-Factor has put forward these proposals, which bring a new dimension to St James Square, a fantastic heritage asset in our town centre. We are extremely pleased to support this scheme.”
Mark Webb, MD of E-Factor, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that our investment proposals have been received so well. We recognise that this building has been empty and deteriorating for over a decade and with our investment, supported by the Towns Fund, we are confident we can bring it back to life.
“We’re planning to purchase and redevelop the building to provide quality business accommodation for a variety of local businesses and entrepreneurs, there will also be space for small business events/exhibitions as well as workshops to support local business people.
“As an independent ‘not for profit’ ltd company, dedicated to supporting the huge contribution local business owners make to this town, E-Factor will once again be providing wrap around business support, easy in easy out terms and all the guidance we can give to help create and grow successful local businesses. The more people who do business in the town centre, the better it will be for shops and restaurants also located there.”
E-Factor Group Ltd (E-Factor), have been both developing and managing a portfolio of commercial properties around North East Lincolnshire for more than 12 years.