Kirkgate plan moves onward

Crown House, Kirkgate, Wakefield
Crown House, Kirkgate, Wakefield

MAJOR progress will be made on plans to regenerate the Kirkgate area when work begins this summer.

Council bosses have announced that Crown House, which was bought last summer, will be demolished in July or August.

Her Majesty’s County Court, which currently occupies the building, will move to Pontefract later this month so that the work can be carried out.

Demolition of the building is seen as key to linking the city centre, the new Hepworth gallery and the waterfront.

Work on the refurbishment of Kirkgate’s station building is also expected to start in the autumn.

Planning permission for new platforms was granted last week, and a decision on the station building is expected by the end of this month.

In her report to next week’s full council meeting, deputy leader Coun Denise Jeffery said: “The Kirkgate masterplan is progressing well, with Highways developing options for traffic modelling and designs for pedestrian routes.

“Land and property information is being gathered to inform the plan.”

Groundwork Wakefield, who are leading the project to refurbish the station building, are still exploring funding options for the project.

The £3.5m scheme will also put staff on the platforms, following the Express’s successful Staff Our Station campaign.