May 25, 2023 10.00 pm This story is over 10 months old

Repairs planned for UK’s oldest ice factory in Grimsby

The Grade II listed building is in a poor state

Fresh plans have been proposed for repairs to an at-risk historic site in Grimsby.

Great Grimsby Ice Factory has been disused since 1990 and is the earliest surviving ice factory in the UK.

A planning application in 2021 gained approval for vital repair works including to the roof. But with the risk associated with original machinery on site and the need for a safe platform to carry out works, a fresh application has been made.

IF 1900 Ltd has sought permission for the removal of existing upper floor structures in the ice factory’s north and south buildings, as well as a number of columns and loose finishes at ground floor access levels.

“The current state of the machinery in the Ice Factory is putting the building at risk, as much of this equipment was tied back into the brick elevations of the building,” say DP9 Ltd planning consultants in an application document.

This is “mostly rotten”, leaving little to hold up the elevations “while careful demolition works take place”.

The state of the building has also meant the need to create a safe working platform. This will enable in future the works to be carried out to remove the original machinery and set aside, some of which will return in situ.

Replacing the upper floor of the north and first floor of the south buildings will do this.

A new load bearing structure will be built to support the new first floor of the south building.

“The design aims to ensure the interventions have a long-term function in order to make the greatest leap ahead in saving the building and bringing it back into meaningful use,” say Waugh Thistleton Architects in the design statement.

Owner and businessman Tom Shutes has suggested the possibility of restoring the Ice Factory as a 1,400 seater conference or theatre venue. However the immediate priority is to save the site.

At its peak in the 1950s, the ice factory produced up to 1,200 tonnes of ice a day.

Activists successfully fought in the 1990s to stop its potential demolition.