Tomorrow sees the grand opening of the new £200 million St Stephens development here in Hull. As a lover of architecture and all things new and shiny and as a proud resident of the city of Hull, coupled with the fact that it will bring shops and a supermarket closer to my door, I am looking forward to it's opening.
There seems to be an air of sceptiscism around this development, in that people think it won't have a detrimental, positive effect on the city's economy (only 40% of people in Hull and the surrounding area actually spend their money shopping in Hull) and many actually believe it will have a negative impact as it leaves other parts of the city center with abandoned, boarded up shops.
I think this may be the case in the short term, but feel it will ultimately prove to be beneficial to the city, helping to improve the image.
I remember when construction began on 'The Deep' and the 'KC Stadium'(pictured in last post) just a few years ago, the words "white elephant' were being banded around like there was no tomorrow, but both of these buildings have been very good for the city, the KC stadium being a big factor in turning around the fortunes and success of my team 'Hull City AFC' and perhaps causing some of these people to "eat their words"(I know one or two of these people) and have definitely been very positive for the city. I have actually met people who preferred the times when Hull City AFC were languishing in the 4th division with crowds of only 5 thousand people.
I think Hull is a brilliant little city and would not want to live anywhere else, for sure it still requires a lot of investment, and has it's troubles like any other city, but for me the biggest problem it has, is the lack of pride and belief shown by it's own residents.
I remain convinced that as these development company's chip away at the areas which require improvements with their schemes it will all add to the bigger picture, which is the future of this city. Surely nobody would like to see the Ferensway of old!