Archive building plans submitted

The Registry of Deeds building in Wakefield.
The Registry of Deeds building in Wakefield.

Plans showing how the city’s Registry of Deeds building could be given a “new lease of life” as an education centre have been submitted to Wakefield Council.

Wakefield College plans to buy the building, on the corner of Newstead Road and Margaret Street, and renovate it to form teaching space, a restaurant and kitchen for its catering department, music and performance rooms, and facilities for students with disabilities and learning difficulties.

Planning documents submitted for consideration read: “By utilising the site and converting the existing building into a new educational facility an important local building can be given a new lease of life and be preserved as a functional building for future generations.”

The building, which dates back to the 1930s, has housed the district’s historical archives for decades.

But the documents have now been moved across to a new West Yorkshire Archive Centre, which is due to open in Kirkgate on Monday.

In a leaflet sent out to local councillors and nearby properties, the college’s director of estates Jon Howard said: “We recognise the Archive of Deed is of local historical interest and must be treated in a similar way to our approach to the former Wakefield Museum in Wood Street.

“Our work at that site refurbished the failing building and created the vibrant Mechanics’ Theatre, where students and community groups learn in specialist and inspirational environments.

“The college is planning to refurbish the external facades of the building and sympathetically redevelop the internal layout to suit a number of specialist education purposes, for use by students and the local community.”