Kirkgate pub to become 'focal point' of new city centre housing estate

A pub which is being spared demolition in Wakefield city centre will become a 'focal point' for a new housing estate.

By Nick Frame
Monday, 24th January 2022, 7:00 am
The pub will escape demolition.
The pub will escape demolition.

As the council presses ahead to demolish a large section of the east side of Kirkgate, the only building pencilled in to survive the major overhaul is the Harewood Arms pub.

After much deliberation, it was decided that the pub will remain and become a focal point for the area, with 150 new homes planned for the site.

Clare Elliott, Wakefield Council’s service director for economic growth, said: “The Harewood Arms is one of only a few Edwardian pubs left in the city with many of the original features still intact, and a very important historic landmark building in the Kirkgate area.

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“The council’s plans for a new residential area on the surrounding area - a Towns Fund project funded by the UK Government - sees the building as a focal point for this new neighbourhood.”

Kevin Trickett, president of Wakefield Civic Society said: “The society does, of course, welcome the proposals to improve the area of lower Kirkgate - an area that has been neglected for far too long. However, it’s also important to us that we, in the enthusiasm to develop the area, we don’t lose viable parts of Wakefield’s built heritage.

“Although the name of the Harewood Arms goes back to 1828, we think that the current building was erected on the site of the original pub in 1907.

"As such it is a good example of a surviving public house from the Edwardian, pre-first world war, period. The Harewood Arms maintains a link with the past and we look forward to seeing proposals for the project that are sensitive to the setting of these historically-interesting buildings.”

Wakefield Council is in talks with the existing shops from Wilko to the old ABC Cinema to help relocate them.