New vision for historic docks in Grimsby centre around Humberside's answer to Tate

By Mark Sheerin | 10 April 2012
A colour visualisation of a harbourside development in Grimsby
Artist's impression of what Grimsby docks could one day look like© Graham Byfied. Courtesy of SAVE Britain's Heritage
In a mere 12 months, Margate, Wakefield, Colchester and Hastings have all claimed their place on Britain's art map. But amid all the excitement surrounding the opening of galleries elsewhere, spare a thought for those places without.

It is almost inevitable, therefore, that SAVE Britain’s Heritage should step forward with plans for Grimsby. Once the world’s biggest fishing port, it boasts a dockside district of smoke houses and ice factory now in decay and in part facing demolition.

So with tongue not entirely in cheek, it has been suggested that the former factory, once geared to transporting fish all around the UK, might become Humberside’s answer to Tate.

Indeed, the Grade II-listed building has all the industrial credentials you could want from a new space for contemporary art. Meanwhile, a warren of streets nearby are being eyed as a site for a covered market, cafes, restaurants and bars. And a striking Grade I-listed Dock Tower should put the seal on this iconic new development.

It is hoped that an artist’s visualisation (the one above by Graham Byfield) will help capture the imagination of one or more funding bodies. All eyes should also be on Margate, plus the other lucky towns where it is hoped to find the Guggenheim effect.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.

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