£1m investment will be the 'icing on the cake' for Pontefract

A 1m plan to improve links between Pontefract Castle and the town centre has been given the green light by council decision-makers.
A 1m plan to improve links between Pontefract Castle and the town centre has been given the green light by council decision-makers.

A £1m plan to improve links between Pontefract Castle and the town centre has been given the green light by council decision-makers.

The cash, set to be spent on the Horsefair area of Pontefract, was described as the “icing on the cake” for the town, and is anticipated to help increase visitor numbers to the town’s historic castle.

A 1m plan to improve links between Pontefract Castle and the town centre has been given the green light by council decision-makers.

A 1m plan to improve links between Pontefract Castle and the town centre has been given the green light by council decision-makers.

While no specific plans have yet been made, a report which went before councillors claimed it would be geared towards cutting pollution, managing traffic and encouraging walking, cycling and the use of public transport.

The money came via a grant from regional super-council the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

Coun Jackie Speight told the meeting: “We have carried out a lot of renovation works to Pontefract Castle. People are really starting to enjoy and understand their heritage. Anything we can do to link the castle with the town centre, visitor numbers will only increase.”

Coun Denise Jeffery added: “Investment that has gone into Pontefract has been absolutely amazing. The regeneration of Horsefair will really put the icing on the cake. This is just the start of what we are doing in the Five Towns.”

Coun Matthew Morley said: “We need to look after all our districts. We are also bringing forward a paper on exciting things we are doing around Castleford.

On August 1 Pontefract Castle was removed from Historic England’s “at risk” list after 16 years and £15 million investment.

Work to improve the castle included opening up previously inaccessible areas, such as the Sally Port, new paths, steps and a viewing platform were created above the Swillington Tower, and a new visitor centre was built.

Funding came from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Wakefield Council, the Wolfson Foundation and landfill charity EpaC.