Plans by the business development organization E-Factor to take over a prominent building in Grimsby city center were supported by the local authority.
The North East Lincolnshire Council has approved the business case for the renovation of St. James House into a business center.
It opens the door to £ 1.5 million from the Towns Fund, which the central government provides for urban regeneration and renewal.
The funding will be complemented by further investments from E-Factor as it intends to add the 10,000 square foot Bull Ring development to a real estate portfolio that is funding work with entrepreneurs.
Launched in June at a target price of £ 400,000 – previously considered for demolition – the purchase from Parochial Church Council is progressing, with an agreed deal.
Mark Webb, Managing Director of E-Factor, said: “We are delighted that our investment proposals have been so well received. We understand this building has been vacant and dilapidated for over a decade, and we are confident that we can bring it back to life with our investment backed by the Towns Fund.
“We plan to buy and refurbish the building to provide high quality business space to a wide variety of local businesses and entrepreneurs. There will also be space for small business events / exhibitions and workshops to support local business people.
“As an independent ‘not for profit’ limited company dedicated to helping the tremendous contribution of local business owners to this city, E-Factor will once again provide full business support, simple and straightforward, and all the advice we can help Build and grow successful local businesses. The more people do business in the city center, the better the shops and restaurants that are located there. “
It is seen as an important next step in the redesign of St. James Square after a major renovation of the area. Just last week, local creative Annabel McCourt unveiled the Murmurations art installation. New lighting to improve Grimsby Minster has also been installed, complimenting the new paving, landscaping and planting.
North East Lincolnshire Council Chairman Cllr Philip Jackson said, “St. James House has been in disrepair for many years, and with the success of the Wilkin Chapman building in Cartergate and the redevelopment of the St, the next step was to join in To deal with the redundant building in such a way that the footfall in the city center increases and other local companies can benefit.
“I am delighted that E-Factor has come up with these proposals that will add a new dimension to St. James Square, a fantastic heritage site in our city center. We are very happy to support this project. “
E-Factor has developed and managed a portfolio of commercial real estate around North East Lincolnshire for more than 12 years and has received a major grant to fuel business support in the district.
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It recently added a third phase of expansion to its Prince Albert Gardens Enterprise Village, refurbishing the original Business Hive on Dudley Street to meet changing requirements after the lockdown.
Lawrence Brown, managing partner of the commercial real estate agency Scotts, acts for PCC.
He said, “A deal has been struck with E-Factor that fits in with the wider pursuit of what they wanted to achieve in terms of regeneration, growth and opportunity.”
It was built more than 50 years ago and currently has a small office suite on the ground floor, a first floor with suites and an open second floor. There is a caretaker’s apartment on the third floor.
The E-Factor proposal calls for the underground parking spaces – the access to which has been sealed since the main office building on Cartergate – to be converted into business units.
It is assumed that the signing by the new department for Leveling Up, Housing & Communities should now follow.