Tributes to well-known estate agent – a director who even tried to buy the Humber Bridge

Malcolm Scott

Tributes have been paid to a well-known property agent who became a director of Hull KR, established arts venue Kardomah 94 and even tried to buy the Humber Bridge.

Hull-based businessman Malcolm Scott, who once worked for the Prudential Building Society when it operated an estate agency division, has died in hospital after a short illness.

Scott set-up his own property firm, Scotts Chartered Surveyors, in 1990 following the closure of Prudential Building Society’s estate agency arm. The business expanded, with an estate agency office opening in Grimsby.

In 2011 he launched an ambitious £100m bid to buy the Humber Bridge from the government through a proposed new social enterprise company, in exchange for the crossing’s remaining debt being wiped off. While ultimately unsuccessful, he claimed his high-profile campaign helped prompt a subsequent government deal with the bridge board which reduced tolls by half.

Lawrence Brown, a partner at Scotts Property LLP, was his business partner for 16 years. He recalled: “I remember him coming into a meeting one day and just saying: ‘I want to buy the Humber Bridge.’ We all just looked at him as if he was crazy.

“The thing was, he actually came with something that would work. His scheme made perfect sense but they were never going to simply adopt his idea so they came up with something else to present as their own which achieved the same thing by reducing the tolls to £1.50 so he won in the end.”

Brown added: “He was one of the first people to champion the idea of city centre living. A lot of people were sceptical about that at the time but he was right. He also made the connection between that and the need to have a thriving evening economy in the city centre to complement that.”

A keen sports fan and a lifelong Hull City supporter, Scott also worked behind the scenes as part of a consortium which bought Hull Kingston Rovers’ ground Craven Park when the club was struggling to survive financially. He later became a director of the club itself.

Humber Bridge

In 2012, he stepped back from the day-to-day running of his business and started supporting the arts and culture sector, including investing in a music studio run by his son in a former wholesale fruit warehouse in Humber Street. At the same time, he began planning his own arts venue in the ground floor of the city centre office block in Alfred Gelder Gelder where Scotts was based.

Kardomah 94 would become a popular venue, operating as a versatile creative space hosting live music, theatre, comedy, poetry and cinema alongside a cafe and restaurant.

Scott was also a supporter of Hull’s City of Culture bid and subsequently served as a board member of the 2017 City of Culture company and its successor Absolutely Cultured.

Former city council leader, Carl Minns, commented “Hull has lost a great man. Malcolm was an advocate for the city and was involved in many projects that made our city a greater place to live, play and work. He was also an invaluable source of help, advice and support during my time as leader of the council.”

Former Hull & Humber Chamber president Phil Ascough added: “Mal did so much for the city of Hull and the people who live here. Business, sport, culture – we will never forget Fruit Trade Music and Kardomah 94 and we will certainly never forget the wonderful, fun gentleman who made so many things happen.”

 

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