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HEY LEP chair James Newman OBE with Allenby Commercial managing director Andrew Allenby and contracts director Paul Swallow.

A vacant and dilapidated Hull city centre building will soon benefit from ‘Grade A’ managed office space thanks to significant funding from Hull City Council and Hull & East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (HEY LEP).

A contribution of £1.5m has been granted to Venture Business Space, part of Allenby Commercial, towards its £6.5m project to create the office space at Monocle, formerly known as Europa House, on junction of Anlaby Road and Ferensway.

The money has come from the council’s allocation of government Levelling Up Funding and HEY LEP’s Growing Places Fund, with both providing £750,000.

James Newman OBE, HEY LEP chair, added: “HEY LEP’s Growing Places Fund supports businesses which are vital to the vibrant local economy in Hull and East Yorkshire.

“This project will be an important addition to ensuring that Hull city centre continues to develop and will attract new businesses to the city.

“I am delighted that the HEY LEP has been able to support Venture Business Space and I look forward to seeing the development completed and the new space occupied.”

Cllr Paul Drake-Davis, the council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “The former Europa House building is a prominent and key property in the city centre which has stood dilapidated for many years.

“This is another important step forward in the regeneration of Hull city centre, once again supported by Levelling Up Funding.

“It is yet another example of Hull going against the national trend of seeing continued economic investment into the city centre and bringing empty buildings back into use.”

Once fully refurbished, Monocle will create inspiring spaces for businesses to thrive and grow, providing 30 construction jobs and both creating and securing up to 600 further employment opportunities.

The project will provide commercial space at ground level and office accommodation on the five upper floors.

Monocle’s travel plan will maximise the rail and bus links from the adjacent transport interchange, with car parking available on site, cycle storage space and shower and changing facilities.

Work is expected to start soon and Allenby Commercial hopes the first two floors should be ready for occupation by the end of March 2025. Full completion is scheduled for the end of November 2025.

Andrew Allenby, managing director of Allenby Commercial, said: “All of our projects are focused on creating jobs in our home city by regenerating sites which were in danger of being forgotten and we are delighted Hull City Council Hull & East Yorkshire LEP are able to support us with this particular project.

“We bought the building before the pandemic and have had to face up to the changing landscape in commercial property and to the imperative of creating jobs in Hull city centre.

“We have always worked to the highest standards but now the bar is even higher. To buck the trend of remote working and to attract people into the buildings you need to offer excellent facilities.

“That means offering the widest range of transport options and combining workspace with leisure and relaxation facilities.

“Monocle is another example of our strategy of renovating older buildings which have profile and character and using them to bring new jobs to Hull.”