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First Deal Completed for Fruit Market Lettings Programme

Hull Forward's work in the ongoing animation of the Fruit Market has taken a step forward with the completion of a deal with Fred Marketing to take space in the currently vacant Lock Keepers Cottage, bordering Hull Marina. This symbolises the first of a series of deals currently being negotiated with a range of local creative industries and commercial enterprises looking to take space in the area.

Fred Marketing - currently based in High Street - will create an additional 2 jobs as part of the move.

John Holmes, Chief Executive of Hull Forward, said: 'We are delighted that Fred has secured the lease for Lock Keepers Cottage, allowing them to expand their business.'

He added:' After months of hard work by the Hull Forward team, it's extremely rewarding to see this deal completed which represents the first letting in our strategy to fill a number of empty units in the area. The regeneration of the Fruit Market remains a priority for us and despite challenging economic conditions we are confident that the area will continue to develop over the coming year. It's important to realise that this strategy is also enabling local companies to start up or expand in a very special area of the city, adding to its atmosphere and longer term use.'

Fred Marketing registered interest in taking a property in the Fruit Market area following an event held by Hull Forward last year to promote the opportunity for meanwhile uses of the properties vacated by the fruit traders. Whilst Lock Keepers Cottage wasn't a former fruit trading facility, it is one of the premises which have become available through the Fruit Market regeneration programme.

Helen Davies, Director at Fred Marketing, said: 'This is a really exciting milestone for Fred and the opportunity to move to such a high profile building in such an aspirational and up and coming area is a major boost for Fred. We have accelerated our business plan from our first year's success, smashing all objectives and have been grateful for the support offered by the council's serviced offices. We very much look forward to continued growth and success in our new premises in the Fruit Market and know our clients will love attending meetings here.'

Lock Keepers Cottage is owned by Hull City Council and the organisation has continued to support Hull Forward in its strategy for the area.

Councillor Rick Welton, Hull City Council portfolio holder for regeneration, said: 'This is excellent news, and I am delighted to see that this is a company that has thrived and expanded through support of the Acorn Fund. It's vitally important to get life back into the Fruit Market now that the traders have been successfully relocated. I'm looking forward to seeing more cultural and creative businesses helping the area to bounce back.'

Fred Marketing has received support from the Acorn Fund and Hull Forward to deliver essential refurbishment works, which have commenced and it is expected that the company will be operational in its new premises in May.

Approximately 50 sqm of space in the ground floor of Lock Keepers Cottage is also available and enquiries from interested tenants are welcomed.

Hull Forward aims to bring up to eight empty properties into use throughout the course of 2010.

For more information please contact:

Anja Hazebroek
PR & Media Manager
Hull Forward

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