Wakefield Council to spend £1.5m repairing former crown court building before selling it

Giles Proctor pictured outside the Wakefield Crown Court which is under renovation, Wood Street, Wakefield..SH100130022a....5th March 2015 ..Picture by Simon Hulme
Giles Proctor pictured outside the Wakefield Crown Court which is under renovation, Wood Street, Wakefield..SH100130022a....5th March 2015 ..Picture by Simon Hulme
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The city’s historic former Crown Court building could undergo £1.5m of repair work before being sold off for development.

Wakefield Council bought the grade-II listed building two years ago following concerns about its crumbling state.

It was placed on Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register in 2013 after falling into disrepair.

Senior councillors will now discuss the future of the building, which sits in the Civic Quarter, at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

A report to the meeting recommends the authority carries out repairs to make sure the building is waterproof. It would then be marketed for future development.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and skills, said: “This is a Grade II listed building and is a key part of Wakefield’s heritage. We are committed to restoring this important historic building so that it can be redeveloped and brought back into use.

“Previous owners had destroyed the building to a point where it became unstable. We have stepped in to make the building safe but now we need to invest in the building’s future and secure a developer to repair and restore it.

“We hope it will attract high quality redevelopment into the heart of the city, bringing with it new employment opportunities.”

The building was used as a court until 1992 and was then sold to the private sector in 1994.

Plans to restore the building and convert it into a restaurant and gallery were in the pipeline.

Kevin Trickett, Wakefield Civic Society president, said: “The society has been concerned about the fate of this landmark building for a long time.

“When we heard the original plans to convert the building into a restaurant and gallery space, we were hopeful that the building would continue to be accessible by the public and have a secure future.

“However, that was over 20 years ago and nothing ever came of the plan.

“We now want to see a scheme that will not only lead to the building being restored and brought back into use but one that will create jobs and generate footfall on Wood Street, helping to regenerate the surrounding area.”