'Strong interest' in turning old Wakefield Westgate Station site into hotel and office complex

Wakefield's old Westgate Station front could be converted into a new hotel and office space, after lying vacant for seven years.

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 12:30 pm

The old entrance has been gated off since it was made redundant in 2013, when the station was redeveloped.

Now, Wakefield Council says it's reached an agreement with Network Rail to buy the site for nearly £600,000.

The local authority says it plans to bid for government cash, "To create a new major workspace and hotel development with a private sector partner".

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The old station site has been empty for seven years.

It's claimed that if the idea comes to fruition, it could create more than 700 jobs, including 130 at the prospective hotel.

If that fails, the council says it will look to sell the property onto a commercial developer.

A report going before the authority's senior councillors next Tuesday said, "Informal discussions with developers have indicated strong commercial interest in bringing forward the site for uses such as a new office development and an 80-120 bed hotel to fully capitalise on the exceptional location and rail links.

"The site has remained an unattractive brownfield site to private sector commercial development.

"The market has not delivered development due to the risks associated with financial viability and negotiating with Network Rail.

"Without public sector acquisition, the site will likely remain undeveloped."

The revamped Westgate Station, with access from Mulberry Way, opened to passengers in December 2013 after a £9m refurbishment.

The council's Cabinet will be asked to approve the purchase of the site from Network Rail.

Local Democracy Reporting Service