Demolition of Pontefract night spot Kiko's to go ahead as part of 'exciting' plans to transform the town

‘Huge and exciting’ plans to demolish one of Pontefract’s best-remembered night spots have been approved by decision-makers in Wakefield Council.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 1:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 1:16 pm

Members of the authority’s Executive Board agreed to bring an end to the former Kiko’s nightclub building in Stuart Road, which has laid empty and abandoned for several years, as part of plans to spruce up the gateway into the town from the north.

Senior Wakefield councillors rubber-stamped the job with the intention of clearing the site for future development.

Presenting the plans to fellow board members Coun Darren Byford said: “This is exciting news for Pontefract.

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Like many other empty buildings, the old Kiko’s site has been ravaged by anti-social behaviour in recent times, even being subject to break-ins.

“To facilitate improvements in this important gateway into Pontefract that will build on the town’s excellent foundations. This is the first step in the efforts to guide the transformation process and realise our vision for Pontefract as a cultural destination.

“By retaining Kiko’s nightclub and demolishing it using a grant from our town centre regeneration fund, this will open up that initial gateway to the town and make a huge impact.

“I would recommend that we adopt this plan in full.”

Council leader Denise Jeffrey echoed Coun Byford’s sentiments, adding: “I think we have waited a long time, it’s been an absolute eyesore. In the past I think people enjoyed going to Kiko’s – before my time – but I think it’s been really problematic sitting there at a key site.

“The main thing is to get it down as quickly as we can.”

A report which went before members asked them to approve the council retained the building and approve £275,000 to be drawn down from the £10m town centre fund to demolish and clear the building and provide “temporary reinstatement to enhance the vacant gateway site”.

Like many other empty buildings, the old Kiko’s site has been ravaged by anti-social behaviour in recent times, even being subject to break-ins.

The local authority had previously hoped to sell off the property to a private developer and have homes built in its place, but no deal ever came to fruition.

Pontefract’s old fire station building, which lies opposite Kiko’s, is also part of the regeneration plan. It will be sold onto Wakefield District Housing (WDH) to be converted into new flats.

The proposals were agreed by members of the council’s executive board this week.