Categories: Industry News, Pagabo News
The 55 Group has completed our relocation to the former HSBC building on Whitefriargate in Hull city centre following redevelopment to make it a thriving creative and innovation hub. The group made the move to mark a new chapter for the businesses that will see them strive towards a shared vision to challenge the status quo and introduce new technologies making people’s lives easier, safer and greener.
The 1879 building on Whitefriargate in the heart of Hull city centre contains a great deal of original decorative features that have been retained in situ. This includes the original ceiling detailing, which has been repainted in a striking dark blue with white decorative highlighting, and a glazed dome lantern that sits above a newly created mezzanine floor.
Rich woodwork panelling, decorative columns and generous high windows that flood the workspaces with natural light have also been retained. These elements have been incorporated effectively into the design alongside modern elements to create a contemporary finish fit for modern day working practices, with a clear nod to the building’s heritage.
Gerard Toplass, group chief executive officer at The 55 Group, said: “We’re overjoyed to now be in our new home after waiting patiently while renovation work took place. It’s the perfect environment to collaborate professionally and socialise as friends using the integrated mix of workspaces and leisure facilities. As an organisation we’re onboard with flexible working and are happy for staff to use the facilities as needed, but it is reassuring that we have now made sure everyone has access to a high-quality work environment.
“Between the businesses now homed here, much of our history has been created in the north and specifically in Hull, so there was never anywhere else we considered creating our future. The building is positioned in a historic and beautiful area of the city, which inspired us to make the interior similarly as attractive but with the modern twists required to make it suitable for our forward-thinking ethos.”
The group’s motto, ‘Building better together’, is evident in the variety of sectors the businesses operate across using the new workspaces and meeting room areas suitable for video conference calls. Throughout the building is practical workspace combining both formal and informal areas, with kitchen facilities and a central, circular juice bar.
Elsewhere, Hotham’s Gin School has settled into its striking new home on the second floor, which combines calming green tones with wood and copper finishes throughout. The design and fit-out of the Grade II ex-banking hall has been carried out by architects Stephen George + Partners LLP.
Gerard continued: “Across The 55 Group, we maintain a national presence so we’re keen to continue proving that sometimes-neglected northern cities, such as Hull, can be hubs for tech innovation and professional growth in the same way that larger cities such as London and Birmingham are.”
Simon Hunt, chief executive officer at Sypro, said: “It’s fantastic to be forging the future of The 55 Group from our new city-centre base. Sypro relies on close cooperation with our stakeholders to understand common painpoints, so we know we have a lot to bring to the table with the businesses we work with in Hull and beyond. It’s been an exciting moving process and we’re now looking forward to entertaining our clients with all that our office and Hull has to offer.”
This project was supported by a £711,000 grant from the Humber High Street Challenge Fund.
The Humber High Street Challenge Fund has been supported with £2.23m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Humber LEP and part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
Councillor Daren Hale, leader of Hull City Council, said: “It’s great to see the ongoing regeneration of Whitefriargate and the confidence that businesses are continuing to show in the area. 55 Whitefriargate is an incredible building so it’s fantastic to see it back in use. This project compliments the vision we have for the area, of being a vibrant place for people to live, work and play, as well as complimenting both established and newly arrived businesses in the Old Town.”
The wider regeneration of Whitefriargate is being supported by £1m of funding from the Humber High Street Challenge Fund, as well as £1.75m from Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme.
James Newman, chair of HEY LEP, said: “We are thrilled to see new businesses directly benefit from the Humber High Street Challenge Fund and that this programme is having a positive impact in Hull city centre, especially in historic Whitefriargate. Making our towns and city centres accessible and vibrant will stimulate the economy, with benefits for all residents and businesses.
“This fund was launched to breathe new life into the region’s town and city centres, and we are very pleased to see new businesses opening during what has been a challenging time for our high streets.”
For more information about The 55 Group and the other companies that are a part of the group, click below.