Crown court needs £1m for long-running repairs

Wakefield Crown Court, Wood Street, Wakefield. Pictured in 2015.
Wakefield Crown Court, Wood Street, Wakefield. Pictured in 2015.

More cash is to be ploughed into long-running repairs of Wakefield’s old Crown Court building.

The Grade II listed site, located in the city’s civic quarter, has been subject to a major restoration programme over the last year.

The Wood Street building, which ceased running as a court in 1992 before being sold off to the private sector, eventually became run down over the following two decades and was later abandoned.

It prompted Wakefield Council to seize ownership of the landmark in 2014, while Heritage England listed it as “at risk”.

This meant that urgent work was needed to needed to prevent the building becoming damaged beyond repair.

Next week, the council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve an extra £950,000 of funding to help complete the restoration, on top of the £1m set aside for it when it began last year.

A report going before the authority’s top brass says that the extent of rot within the building was more extensive than previously thought.

It said: “Several areas of additional work have been uncovered whilst the project has been on site.

“The civic quarter is a key regeneration project for the council which has strong political support.

“However the aspiration to bring additional life to this part of the city includes

the crown court building.

“The preservation and restoration of this building is critical to encourage the regeneration of this part of the city and increase the marketability of this area in general.”

The council said last year it was actively marketing the building and talking to several interested developers, although no further updates have been revealed about any possible sale.

The restoration programme is now expected to be completed in August.