£12m plan for Grimsby's Ice Factory is unveiled
PLANS to spend £12 million on turning Grimsby's Ice Factory into a leisure complex with a cinema, climbing wall and a pub, creating 128 jobs were unveiled, yesterday.
The Grimsby Ice Factory Trust was set up in 2010 to save the derelict landmark and now it has put its plans for the building's future on display at Grimsby Town Hall. They include:
Two cinema screens that the trust say Gerald Parkes – owner of Cleethorpes Parkway – has expressed an interest in running
A climbing wall – the trust says it is a growing hobby and the nearest one is in Sheffield
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A micro-brewery and American-style bar run by Lincolnshire brewer Tom Woods
A conference centre that could be used for business functions, weddings
Various shops and a café.
It is estimated that the plan would cost a total of £12 million and could create 54 full-time and 74 part-time jobs.
While it is a lot of money, senior trust members believe it is achievable after raising £18,000 in three months to get to this stage.
Chairman Victoria Hartung said: "It will be difficult, but we wouldn't be wasting our time if we didn't think it was possible."
The plan is supported by the Prince's Regeneration Trust, which helps save endangered historic buildings, particularly in deprived areas.
Paul Gardner, assistant project adviser, said: "We have recently saved a Victorian pottery factory in Stoke on Trent, turning it into a visiting centre. That cost £8 million.
"It took funding from various different sources, but there are some big pots around."
Chris Cook, 69, of Cumberland Avenue, who visited to look at the plans, said: "I hope it goes ahead because it will be great for the town and the regeneration of Freeman Street, but it is a lot of money and I'm not sure it will happen."
Seven-year-old James Roberts, of Louth Road, Holton-le-Clay, became interested in the factory after asking his parents where fish fingers came from.
He is the trust's youngest member and was very impressed.
"I like the idea of having a cinema, shops and a climbing wall, but they should use some for a museum of all the rusty old equipment that is still in there," he said.
Visit www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk for a gallery of pictures looking at the Ice Factory in its heyday.
Bygones is on today's page 18.