Deal expected to turn former Wakefield Westgate railway station into a hotel and offices

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Deal expected to turn former station into a hotel and offices.

A deal to turn the the old Wakefield Westgate station into a hotel and offices is expected to be struck soon, it has been revealed.

Wakefield Council and Network Rail are due to sign the deal which will see the former station site transformed after almost a decade.

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A report by Wakefield Council leader Denise Jeffery states that the local authority will soon begin inviting developers to submit plans for the construction of a hotel and ‘high-quality’ offices.

Wakefield Council and Network Rail are due to sign the deal which will see the former station site transformed after almost a decade.Wakefield Council and Network Rail are due to sign the deal which will see the former station site transformed after almost a decade.
Wakefield Council and Network Rail are due to sign the deal which will see the former station site transformed after almost a decade.

Tenders are expected to be opened in 2023.

The station ceased operations in 2013 when the new station on Mulberry Way was completed.

Coun Jeffery’s report, to be but to full council meeting on Wednesday, January 18, states: “The Council agreed terms to acquire the site from Network Rail for a commercial and hotel scheme with a private sector developer.

“The project aims to stimulate new office development in the medium to long term through high quality design and a unique location.

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“This is one of the key projects that will transform the city centre into a thriving and culturally vibrant city by making it adaptable to changing consumer demand and achieving new growth in residential, retail, culture and entertainment.”

It is one of several key projects designed to transform the city centre.

In 2019, Wakefield was awarded £24.9m from the Government’s Towns Fund to improve transport, regeneration, digital infrastructure, connectivity, skills and culture.

Other developments include the Kirkgate Neighbourhood Gateway residential project, the relocation of the library and museum into the heart of the city centre and the transformation of the Cathedral precinct area

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The old entrance to the station has been gated off since it was made redundant ten years ago.

A report to senior councillors in December 2020 stated that the Council reached an agreement with Network Rail to buy the site for nearly £600,000.

It’s claimed the project could create more than 700 jobs, including 130 at the prospective hotel.

The report to cabinet members 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.

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“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.

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