Former Wakefield Registry of Deeds building revamped and reopened as Wakefield College campus

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A former civic building in Wakefield city centre has been revamped as a brand new facility for Wakefield College.

The former Registry of Deeds building is now home to students from the college and has been renamed after Florence Beaumont, a key Wakefield figure in the fight to win the vote for women.

And today the building was officially opened, with two blue plaques in honour of Florence unveiled by Wakefield Civic Society at the campus.

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Wakefield College Principal Sam Wright said: “The building is of such historic importance and I am delighted we have renovated it to a high standard whilst still maintaining its character and heritage.”

The former Registry of Deeds buildingThe former Registry of Deeds building
The former Registry of Deeds building

Sarah Cobham, director and founder of Dream Time Creative and the driving force behind the ‘Forgotten Women of Wakefield’ campaign. has helped bring the name of Florence Beaumont back into the limelight and spoke about the suffrage figure at the opening.

She said: “I am over the moon that Florence's legacy continues to be honoured in the naming of this building after her.

"Of course, she lived, for some time in the building just behind here so it would have been part of her everyday life during her formative years.

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"As the vision of our project is to enable and embolden the woman's voice in order to normalise their social, cultural, political and economic place in both our past and our present the fact that Florence's name is now firmly part of the cultural landscape of Wakefield is momentous for Dream Time Creative and the Forgotten Women of Wakefield project.

Sarah Cobham give a speech at the official opening of the Florence Beaumont building.Sarah Cobham give a speech at the official opening of the Florence Beaumont building.
Sarah Cobham give a speech at the official opening of the Florence Beaumont building.

The new city centre campus includes catering students and a cafe-restaurant open to the community, as well as providing specialist provision for pupils with learning disabilities and facilities for music and performing arts students, currently based at Thornes Park.

Its historic records have been transferred to the new West Yorkshie Archive Centre on Kirkgate.

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