The sign “THE GRIMSBY COMPANY LTD” is painted on a moulded brick cornice and frieze and fixed on a factory in the north of the city. Now after 28 years since its closure, the Grimsby Ice Factory was announced as one of Europa Nostra’s: 7 most endangered heritage sites.
Ceasing production in the 1990s the factory was listed as a Grade II* building illustrating its importance within Grimsby, as the factory was quintessential to the fishing industry in the area.
Since the nineties, the factory has been left in a serious state of decline, with little interest after its closure and subsequent listing as a historical site.
With no maintenance nor repairs made to the factory, English Heritage had placed it on the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register in 2008, as the roof was severely damaged and the interiors were being exposed to the elements.
In 2013 the factory was also nominated to become part of the World Monuments Fund.
This destination was greatly worrying as the Grimsby Ice Factory is the sole survivor of factories of its kind and it is home to various pieces of historical machinery.
Large electric compressors still sit on the factory floor and these colossal pieces of machinery generate a lot of interest among the budding historical community.
These compressors are equivalent to the beating heart of the factory floor and so the consequences of losing such works to the elements is quite hard for some to contemplate.
Last year “SAVE Britain’s Heritage”, a charitable organisation that campaigns for saving historical buildings nominated Grimsby Ice Factory for the Europa Nostra’s 7 most endangered heritage sites.
Europa Nostra a European wide programme was set up in 2013 and set out to protect heritage sites across the continent. Working with the European Investment Bank Institute, the program organises visits to sites to provide technical advice, identifying possible sources of funding and mobilise wider support.
In response to the announcement on Thursday morning, Henrietta Billings, Director of SAVE, said “This selection of the Ice Factory shows not only how important this magnificent building is in Grimsby – but it highlights its national and European significance too.”
Now with the Factory being successfully admitted on to the list, SAVE hopes that the Grimsby building will get the proper care it requires to be enjoyed for future generations to enjoy.