Planning permission has been granted for the next major phase of development in Hull’s rejuvenated Fruit Market, including a new head office for Arco, one of the city’s leading companies.
Hull City Council’s Planning Committee has given the green light to a £22m scheme by Wykeland Beal, which also includes a 350 space multi-storey car park, 34 residential units and 3,000 sq ft of retail/leisure space.
The development will see Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, return to its roots in the Fruit Market where the business opened its first shop in 1893.
The five-storey office building demonstrates Arco’s continued investment into the city and its support of the regeneration of the Fruit Market to ensure Hull remains a vibrant and commercially successful city. Joining its digital team already based in the area, the new office has been designed to enhance the existing environment and blend with the current architecture including the @TheDock tech campus and its centrepiece building, C4DI.
Wykeland Beal, the joint venture company driving forward the regeneration of the Fruit Market in partnership with Hull City Council, worked closely with Arco to develop the plans for the new head office and submitted the successful planning application.
The development, on a site between Blackfriargate and Humber Street currently used as a temporary car park, is the latest major element of the £80m transformation of the Fruit Market waterfront quarter into a thriving urban village.
Dominic Gibbons, managing director of Wykeland Group, speaking on behalf of Wykeland Beal, said: “We’re delighted this landmark scheme has gained planning consent.
“As well as securing Arco’s future in Hull in a showpiece new head office, this development paves the way for further investment in residential, retail and leisure space, all adding to our ‘live, work and play’ vision for the Fruit Market. The multi-storey car park will also be a vital asset, supporting Arco and its employees and the growth of the area as a magnet for business investment and visitors.
“We will now continue to work in partnership with Arco to deliver a building that will provide a platform for success for many years to come, while also delivering another huge boost for the remarkable rejuvenation of the Fruit Market.”
With a contemporary look, social meeting areas, a glass fronted atrium and an auditorium for staff and customer presentations, Arco believes this move will reinforce its positioning as a leading local employer and attract new talent to the company.
David Evison, managing director of Arco, said: “This planning permission signifies another chapter for Arco and our return to the Fruit Market. Although our Waverly Street office has served us well since 1961, our new head office will provide the room we need for continued growth and allow our colleagues to prosper and new talent to emerge. As many will know, we have a strong connection to Hull and we are dedicated to ensuring its success, which is why we are devoted to investing in its growth.”
Construction of the 55,000 sq ft head office building is due to begin this summer, with the aim of approximately 450 Arco staff moving in by the end of 2020. Building work will begin at the same time on the multi-storey car park, which will offer a mixture of contract and pay and display parking.
With the creation of a second National Distribution Centre (NDC) on Clive Sullivan Way and substantial investment in digital technologies, Arco is investing to ensure the long-term future of the business and maintain its base in Hull, providing continuity for its 900 colleagues who live in and around the city.
The regeneration of the Fruit Market is creating one of the most vibrant and fastest-growing communities in the North of England. An area which was largely derelict just a few years ago has been reinvented as a thriving commercial, creative and cultural community, with the first buyers now moving into a high-quality residential development.
The latest investment will bring more than 500 office, retail and leisure jobs to the waterfront area as well as a large number of jobs during the construction phase.
Coun Daren Hale, Hull City Council Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment and Regeneration, said: “Arco moving its head office and 450 staff to the Fruit Market will be a significant boost to the area and all the fantastic businesses that operate there.
“The relocation is a major part in our long-term vision for the city centre, key to both the regeneration and investment that continues to take place in the Fruit Market, as well as the vital Castle Street works.
“Arco is a nationally recognised and respected company with its foundations firmly in Hull. We are delighted that this decision, alongside the construction underway at its distribution centre at Priory Park, shows that the company’s future is also in the city.”