First look inside Fryston House as transformation finalises

A first look inside the transformation of one of Grimsby’s grandest residences has been granted as it is brought to market.

Fryston House, standing in large grounds on the Bargate approach to the town centre, is reaching the end of a £700,000 total refurbishment, creating a 10 apartment development.

Bought by a private development consortium from North East Lincolnshire Council a year ago, having been previously leased to the neighbouring Grimsby Institute, a promotional campaign will launch in the new year.

The 1889 Arts and Crafts build as a house and business premises for seed crusher Robert Norfolk, it was later taken on by timber merchant Sir Francis Bennett, with the family trading on in the town day.

A careful 12 month project has seen saleroom stage and payment pew retained, with a fireplace featuring wood from HMS Victory understood to have warmed guests including Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George before him.

Some rooms overlooking leafy Weelsby Road enjoy three aspects, while grand original door frames dominate as commercial elements such as additional fire escapes and a lift have been senitively removed to restore the former glory.

“The stated aim was to produce the 10 best flats in the town, and I think we have,” Mark Hodson, who has led the consortium said.

The Grimsby architect is joined by Bill Andrews, who has project managed, and Nikki Blowers, who brings finance and marketing to the fore.

Consortium members Bill Andrews, Nikki Blowers and Mark Hodson outside a completing Fryston House redevelopment.
(Image: Reach Plc)
Inside Fryston House.

“We got the keys a year ago, on December 9, and while we’d hoped to have been done in less time, we’ve had the interruption of Covid and it hasn’t been easy so get materials such as plaster,” he reflected.

The eight two-bed and two one-bed units will be marketed from £150,000 to £220,000, with one already secured.

It is the first time the trio have united their skills. Bill, who has an eponymous interiors business alongside cab firm FonaCar, said: “It has certainly been interesting during a pandemic, but we managed to keep going for the most part, getting hold of materials when we could. We are very pleased with the outcome.”

Nikki, a restaurant owner and serviced accommodation provider under the Lucca and Eazy Rooms Hull-based brands, said: “It is an iconic building, and that’s why it has been so nice to be involved with it. To bring it back to life, being part of that, is quite special. Whoever gets to live in it will enjoy the splendour – and all the hard work we’ve subsequently put in!”

It has been repurpsod several times, since it was originally built as Southfield House. The rear is understood to have been a sensitive Sir Francis extension, in keeping with the initial build, and it has served as offices and a care home while in municipal ownerhship.

Crofts Estate Agency has been appointed, with open events planned, subject to Covid restrictions.

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