The City of Culture year will act as catalyst for the project, which is being led by managers of Prospect Centre, House of Fraser and the Mercure Hull Royal Hotel, when millions of national and international visitors are expected to visit Hull.
The idea behind the public realm initiative is to distinguish an area that will promote itself as the retail and commercial heart of the city to help increase footfall for the businesses inside the proposed area, a concept which has proven successful in other UK cities such as Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, and, most notably, London’s Seven Dials.
The first phase of the project saw first year students from Hull School of Art and Design present design ideas based on a survey completed by city centre businesses and members of the local community as part of a work experience exercise. Now, project leaders want the input of the general public.
Lee Appleton, centre manager at Prospect Centre, said: “We saw some impressive designs and ideas from the Hull School of Art and Design students that certainly gave us food for thought, but now we are appealing to the people of Hull to submit their ideas.
“As we prepare for one of the biggest international events in Hull’s history, it is a prime opportunity for our area of the city to create its own identity in order to continue to attract new investment and tourists long after 2017.
“A brand image generates a unique set of ideas, feelings and attitudes in people and if this project can lead people to associate our demise as the retail hub of the city it will help drive people to spend more time here and discover what we have to offer.”
The area includes Prospect Centre, Mercure Hull Royal Hotel, St Stephen’s, Hull Truck Theatre and House of Fraser, as well as the whole of Jameson Street and part of King Edwards street up to BHS.
Local historians have also been asked to put forward their ideas based on an aerial view photograph of the proposed area.
Mr Appleton added: “It is important that this project involves as many members of the community as possible. This is a unique opportunity for the people of Hull to shape the future of our city, during a time when Hull is welcoming fresh change every day and I would urge as many of you as possible to submit your ideas.”
Once a name has been chosen, a local design and marketing agency will develop a definitive brand and submit these proposals to Hull City Council, which is very much already on board with the idea.
If you would like to be part of this exciting project, please submit your name ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org