Knottingley needs a fair deal - £18.65m funding bid submitted to government for Levelling Up

Hill Top in Knottingley could see a much-needed boost to its leisure facilities if a bid for millions of pounds of government funds is accepted.

By Julie Marshall
Friday, 5th August 2022, 1:54 pm
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 1:55 pm
An artist’s impression of how Hill Top could look
An artist’s impression of how Hill Top could look

The application by Wakefield Council for Levelling Up Funding, reflects feedback from residents and businesses.

It will also includes plans for improvements to shops, the expansion of walking and cycling links and the creation of more recreational space for children and young people.

The £18.65m funding is not guaranteed, as councils across England are competing against each other for funding.

In a public consultation held in June, 84 per cent of respondents supported proposals to improve the shopping area of Hill Top, while 70 per cent backed a proposal for improving walking and cycling links around Knottingley and 66 per cent supported the creation of a multi-use outdoor recreation area next to Kellingley Club.

The top three play areas residents said they wanted to see (in order) were a play park for small children, green space with seating and a play park for older children.

Coun Tom Gordon, Knottingley ward councillor, said: “I am incredibly proud of the work that has gone into producing this ambitious Levelling Up Fund bid.

“If successful it would deliver what residents of Knottingley and Ferrybridge want – a leisure centre.”

The government will look at the bid against the characteristics of the area, the strategic fit within the Knottingley Masterplan, value for money, whether they can be delivered by 2025 and whether residents support the proposals. The result is expected in the autumn of 2022.

MP, Yvette Cooper has called on the government to back the levelling up fund bid for Knottingley.

She gave her backing to the bid for the town on condition that it included significant investment in new indoor and outdoor leisure facilities.

Ms Cooper who has consulted around 2,000 local residents said, “Over the past 12 years Knottingley has been hard hit by austerity. If levelling up means anything it should mean new investment to help to rebuild services and support across the town.

“ Local people are clear that leisure facilities are key. We need the government to make good on its promises. Knottingley needs a fair deal”.