Wakefield named one of ‘most chic’ cities in the UK - beating London

Wakefield has been named on of the “most chic” cities in the country.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 3:51 pm
Chic: The Tileyard North development and a cafe in Wakefield

A blog post on Dowsing and Reynolds’ website listed the city third in the category after St Albans and Bath.

To put it all in context, the website explained it’s criteria.

It said: “For the study, we created a unique Dowsing & Reynolds index – scoring each UK city on cultural infrastructure – listed buildings and museums, chicness – boutique hotels, interest in style – online searches related to interior design, and future potential.”

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And on its West Yorkshire entry, the website said: “Third place, meanwhile, went to surprise destination – Wakefield – a quietly cultured little city with its own monthly art walk, as well as the Hepworth Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.”

Maybe we are a “surprise” choice but is it all that unlikely?

Wakefield Civic Society president Kevin Trickett said: “Of course Wakefield is chic – stylish, elegant and fashionable – it’s just that not many people know about it yet!

“Wakefield is often overlooked and frequently underrated in these surveys so it’s really nice to get the recognition we deserve at last. Wakefield is definitely changing and we’re on the up and up.

“As the survey shows, more and more people are beginning to wake up to our growing reputation for culture and the arts and Wakefield has a fascinating history with some beautiful architecture.

“Add in our emerging restaurant and cafe culture, visitor destinations such as The Hepworth gallery, the Cathedral, Theatre Royal, Nostell Priory, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the National Coal Mining Museum, and you start to realise there’s a lot to cherish in and around our city.

“With the opening at the waterfront of Tileyard North next year, a development that is set to put Wakefield on the map as the ‘new creative destination in the North of England’, our chicness will know no bounds.”

So why would it come as such a surprise that we’re listed with the best?

It could be that broadly speaking we’ve been a working class city, it might be northern modesty, or it might be that neighbouring bigger cities have taken more of the limelight.

But if we look at what we have then we’re not that strange of a choice.

Our cafes and restaurants are very good and have been for some time.

The likes of the Hepworth, the National Coal Mining Museum and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park are world class attractions.

The post rated each city out of 100 on its list based on the criteria of culture, chic, interest and future.

Wakefield ranked 82/100 on chicness and 62/100 on interest.

That put its chicness level above Chester, York, Cambridge and London.

The interest category also ranked the city above London and St Albans.

Even before the pandemic things were changing.

The post came as Wakefield Council prepares to launch its “ambassador programme”, which will promote the city as a place to live, work and visit.

It’s part of a broader plan to give Wakefield its best chance to prosper.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “The ambassador programme is a key component of our recovery from the pandemic.

“We’re building on an already strong network following engagement pre-pandemic, so we’re confident this will further support the district to recover at pace and help to realise benefits that make a real difference to the lives of our residents.”