Sewell Construction is behind the transportation, lifting and positioning of the structure which will become home to 730 Hull “vigils” in a year-long UK first project.
Hull Esteem and its partners have joined forces to bring The Hull Vigil to life through generous donations of time, expertise, products and resources, equivalent to a total investment of about £80,000.

It will see a bespoke glass, steel framed, wood clad structure built and installed on top of Hull College for the 365-day silent performance commissioned by Freedom Festival, the Hull-based arts trust behind the international arts festival held in city.

Overlooking Queen’s Gardens and the William Wilberforce Statue on one side, and the River Humber, docks and east Hull on the other, each vigil will stand watch over the city at sunset and sunrise every day for a year from May 3rd. Alongside support from dozens of other local businesses, Sewell Construction is one of Hull Esteem’s principal partners in the project.

Dave Major, Project Manager at Sewell Construction, Assistant Site Manager Jack Henderson and Site Manager Rob Page organised the vigil shelter structure to be collected from Houlton’s yard in east Hull, transported to Hull College and craned into position on the eight-storey building. The four-tonne structure is 3.5m wide, 6m long and 4.2m high.

Dave said: “It’s fantastic to be able to work with our supply chain to provide something so unique for the city and be involved in a UK first for the people of Hull.
“Giving back to the local communities we work in is incredibly important to us and we’d like to thank Esteem, its partners, our supply chain and everyone involved for the amazing work they’ve all done.

“This project is something a little bit different and everyone has worked really well together to make it happen.”

Local businesses have offered their products, services and resources in kind, or at significantly reduced cost, helping to make The Hull Vigil possible.
From project management and architecture, to building supplies, scaffolding and more, businesses of all sizes have worked tirelessly for months to cover every detail of the project.

Many of Sewell Construction’s supply chain businesses didn’t hesitate to come forward, including roofing works by Briggs Amasco, flooring by S&D Flooring, building control by Morgan Wolff, scaffolding by Elevation Scaffolding, the steel frame for the shelter by Dappat, crane lift and transportation by Central Crane Hire and security fencing from Brandon Hire.

Gavin Barley, General Manager of Hull Esteem, Hull City Council’s pre-procured framework which has supported the Hull Vigil with overall management and coordination of the project and communications, said: “It has been a huge team effort to make this possible and the contributions of all the businesses involved should not be underestimated.

“Working eight floors up on the top of Hull College in all weathers doesn’t come without its challenges and everyone has pulled out all the stops to make sure the foundations are there for this fantastic event for the city.

“We’re proud to work with our supply chain and partners, and everyone involved, particularly during what has been a testing time for businesses in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it complements our work of reinvestment in the city.

“This wonderful artistic project is bringing people together in a unique way and we’re honoured to play a part in it.”

The Hull Vigil has been created by Australian-Belgian choreographer Joanne Leighton from the Paris-based WLDN project, and has been running in Paris, Germany and the Netherlands continuously over the past eight years.

Hull will be the 10th ‘vigil’ and is presented as part of the Global Streets and Creative Europe in Situ programmes, funded by Arts Council England, as well as Hull City Council, Hull College and Hull Esteem.

It was originally planned to take place in March, but was postponed due to country’s third national lockdown delaying the build of the shelter and volunteer recruitment.