Unity House deals are ‘close to being signed’

14th April 2011'Unity House Wakefield city centre.'PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
14th April 2011'Unity House Wakefield city centre.'PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE

UNITY House might look in a sorry state at the moment but plans to turn some of it into a pub are ‘still progressing’.

The Express reported in June that owner Mark Leatham, of Leatham Estates, was close to signing a deal with a large pub chain.

A change in the chain’s ownership has delayed things, but estate agent Lee Carnley, of Vickers Carnley said there was ‘good news’ on the horizon.

He said: “The pub plans are progressing and we have someone else interested in the rest of the space. Both of the tenants are hoping to close the deals in the next few weeks.”

The building has been prone to vandalism in recent weeks, and many of the windows have been broken and boarded up, but Mr Carnely was cautiously optimistic that the building would soon be given a new lease of life.

A bid to turn the building into a £6m superclub failed in April last year and since then businesses and organisations including Wakefield Council and the Theatre Royal Wakefield have shown an interest in leasing some of the space.

Last October Leisure Ninety Nine Ltd helped give part of the building’s ground floor a new lease of life when they re-opened Buzz bar and nightclub, which closed back in 2007 under Luminar Leisure.

In June Mr Leatham said legalities relating to the previous tenants had been holding things up, but that it was close to being sorted.

He added: “There has been so much interest in the building and it’s frustrating that we have not been able to move things forward, because it is sad to see it in such a sorry state, but the pub company seems keen on moving into the ground floor and has shown interest in other parts of the building too, and a deal is very close to being sealed.”

He added: “Unity House is one of the first things people see when they come to Wakefield and it would be great to see it in all its splendour again.”