Reviving Rank in Hull housing regeneration project

The sound of a giant gong marked the completion of a unique renovation project at the birthplace of one of the Hull’s most famous sons, renowned film maker and industrialist, J. Arthur Rank.

After being derelict for over a decade, the property on Holderness Road in east Hull was transformed under Probe’s Empty Homes Initiative into four apartments for local people, at affordable rent.

Many of the building’s original features have been restored, preserving the heritage of the building and the history behind it.   PJPS Construction carried out the works alongside chartered building surveyors, Delaney Marling Partnership and Ettridge Architecture.

General manager of Probe, Steve Alltoft says:

“It seems to me that we have been sitting on an uncut diamond.  When the project began, few of the people we spoke to understood the importance of J. Arthur Rank, yet he is undoubtedly one of the city’s pioneers.  From running the family business in flour mills and other industries, he went on to found Pinewood Studios and Odeon Cinemas before taking up the career-defining role of Hollywood movie mogul at the helm of the Rank Film Corporation.”

“I feel that Probe is running a fantastic project and provides a win-win for local communities - refurbishing derelict properties for regeneration, up-skilling students and apprentices, giving them live building projects to work on and it also provides affordable housing for people who need it the most.”

Martin Green, Chief Executive of Hull 2017 added:  “This fantastic project shines a light on a true pioneer of Hull and Hollywood. It seems fitting that the home of J. Arthur Rank has been restored at a time when the city’s cultural life and heritage have been recognised and are undergoing a renaissance.”

“As UK City of Culture, Hull’s reputation as a place that inspires and welcomes film-makers and artists of all kinds will continue to grow, helping to regenerate the city and, like this project, creating jobs and opportunities for young people.”