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Kick Start for the former fish dock
19th June 2015

Plans have been revealed today to kick-start the re-development of the remains of St. Andrew’s Dock in Hull.

The former home of the world’s largest deep-water fishing fleet has been derelict for 40 years.

Now a businessman who owns a large area of the abandoned dock says he is keen to start work on an ambitious facelift of the waterfront site.

Veterinary surgeon John Levison owns most of the land apart from the derelict Lord Line trawler office, the old pump house and the nearby former Sea Fish Authority building.

He is working with Hull-based commercial design consultant Andrew Fenton on options for the site.

One option being considered is re-filling the currently silted-up dock with water.

As a first step, they are looking to create a new historical feature on the site reflecting the city’s fishing heritage called The Last Trip.

It will be followed by phased development around the edge of the dock.

Mr Levison said: “I am fully committed to focusing on a suitable scheme the city will be proud of.

“I hope it will be a real testament that captures all the historic values of the former fish dock and the industry that took so many lives.

“Let’s do them proud.”

Around 6,000 men who sailed from the dock during the last century died at sea. 

Separate proposals for a memorial by the fishing heritage group STAND at another site on the nearby St. Andrew’s Quay retail park have stalled despite receiving planning approval earlier this year.

Mr Fenton said: “We are both determined to give this a real go.

“The dock has been left to rot for too long and it’s time to put that right.

“We are currently talking to a number of potential development partners to explore what options are available.

“The one thing we are both determined to see is the heritage of the dock being reflected in whatever comes forward.  

“The recent sight of so many people in Hessle Road attending the official unveiling of the seats commemorating the three trawlers that went down in the winter of 1968 and the women from Hull who subsequently campaigned for better safety really underlined the depth of feeling there still is out there for the fishing industry.

“A re-developed dock would be a final fitting tribute to everyone who worked in the industry. “Hopefully, it would also provide the opportunity to educate future generations too.”

Mr Fenton said the idea of the historical feature  was to declare a “statement of intent” for the remainder of the dock.

If given the go-ahead, it would be placed on land close to Mr Chu’s China Palace restaurant overlooking the Humber.

Mr Fenton said: “It would a first visible sign of things to come and, subject to planning permission, would be relatively easy to install.

“STAND has their own memorial and good luck to them but this would be a completely separate project,” he said.

Mr Levison, who founded the Swanbridge veterinary practice near Swanland, has owned the dockland site for just over two years.

Until now, he has concentrated on another development project he has been overseeing at Albion Mills near Willerby.

Under the plans, the area will be re-branded as the Historic Dock Quarter of St Andrew’s with the long-term aim of  mirroring the original design style of some of the now lost dockside buildings in any new-build schemes.

Mr Fenton said: “The city council has been very supportive in our efforts to find the right solutions for the use of this area.

“Both the council and ourselves have agreed the ideal option would be to bring the dock back to a water-filled condition with just the outer perimeter being developed.

“This would allow it to be developed both for business and tourism with a fishing heritage theme.

“It’s not going to happen overnight but we are both confident it will become a reality over the next few years.”