By Louise Drewery on 12 January 2017
The Deep is making its mark in the worlds of business, culture and sport as a new year brought a buzz of activity across all the facilities at the award-winning attraction.
On one night alone during Hull’s first week as City of Culture, The Deep aquarium hosted the launch of a series of marine-inspired art installations as well as the first round draw for the Ladbroke Challenge Cup.
Outside, a crowd of thousands was wowed by the projections onto the side of the building for Arrivals and Departures, part of the spellbinding Made In Hull event. Some spectators also enjoyed the fine-dining restaurant at The Deep, where it was business as usual.
Meanwhile at The Deep Business Centre staff are preparing to welcome more new tenants and are already organising the expansion of two existing clients.
Freya Cross, Business and Corporate Manager at The Deep, said: “We knew we would have to hit the ground running in 2017 but week one has been particularly hectic, and very successful.
“There has been so much going on but we did manage to take a step back, look at the level of activity and remind ourselves that everything is connected. We have an iconic building and a top class aquarium in a superb location and that attracts tourists, businesses and creative people who want us to be a part of their projects.”
All of the activities in and around the aquarium are part of the pulling power for The Deep Business Centre, where tenants value the leisure opportunities on their doorstep as well as the location just a short stroll from the Old Town.
Freya said: “Different businesses have their own specific reasons for taking offices with us and they include the quality of space and service, the flexibility that we offer and the connectivity, but the location is something that they all appreciate.
“It is the nature of our business that some tenants come and go. They open an office here and they move on when they have outgrown the accommodation or when they need additional facilities such as storage for vehicles and equipment.
“But we have an excellent track record of attracting new businesses, whether from the local area or as inward investors, and we will be announcing some new arrivals in the coming weeks. We also have many examples of businesses which expand while they are here, and we have two in particular which will double their space during the next month.”
The Made in Hull event closed on Saturday after smashing all expectations of audience numbers. The exhibition by award-winning photographic artist Mandy Barker, another element of the City of Culture programme, will run until March with the theme of raising awareness about plastic pollution in the world's oceans while highlighting the harmful effect on marine life and ultimately ourselves.
That exhibition will be followed by displays from five more artists and by other events as The Deep showcases its role as a key supporter of City of Culture and an original Bid Angel.
City of Culture was also a factor in the decision by the Rugby Football League and sponsor Ladbrokes to bring the Challenge Cup draw to The Deep. Lee Radford, coach of cup holders Hull FC, was joined by Hull-born Air Commodore Dean Andrew, President of the RFL.
Garry Miller, Communications Manager at the RFL, said: “We always to make a draw relevant to its surroundings and audience. Hull is the home of the reigning champions so we wanted to return here. It’s also City of Culture and we looked at everything that’s going on and at The Deep, which is one of the main tourist and cultural attractions in the region.
“We also knew The Deep was capable of hosting a major draw because the FA Cup draw was here in 2015. Connectivity is important because we stream the event live for the BBC. This is my first visit here and I am very impressed.”
Freya Cross with Lee Radford (left) and Dean Andrew at the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup draw.