Wakefield Council 'exploring all options' after buying former ABC Cinema on Kirkgate

Wakefield Council has purchased the former ABC Cinema in Wakefield city centre.

Friday, 18th December 2020, 5:28 pm

The art deco building, on Kirkgate, was once considered a local landmark, but has now stood empty for more than 20 years.

A number of plans for the future of the building have been considered in recent years, but all have been unsuccessful, and the building has continued to stand empty.

Now, Wakefield Council has now confirmed that it has purchased the building for an undisclosed amount.

Wakefield Council has purchased the former ABC Cinema in Wakefield city centre, which has stood empty for more than 20 years.

Councillor Darren Byford, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: “Kirkgate is a key gateway into the city and our regeneration plans will help to support additional investment in the city.

“The ABC building is an important part of the area and has been disused and derelict for many years.

“Unfortunately, private developers have been unable to supply suitable projects for the building. So we are pleased to have been able to obtain the building, after a delegated decision was taken in August, as we can now consider all the exciting prospects that this can bring in our redevelopment of the area.

“We have been developing plans to regenerate the Kirkgate area and took the decision to purchase the property in August, with financial support from the Government’s Town Fund initiative so that all options for its future can be explored, and at the next stage we will be carrying out surveys on the site.

The art deco building, on Kirkgate, was once considered a local landmark. Pictured is the cinema in 1985.

“A Bid for further Government Towns Funding is being submitted shortly, which will influence how and when the Kirkgate area’s regeneration will progress.”

The acquisition of the cinema site follows the demolition of Chantry House and redevelopment of Kirkgate Roundabout in recent years.

Plans for the cinema site have not been confirmed, but a note in the council's delegated decision register in August mentions plans for "the acquisition and demolition of property at Kirkgate, Wakefield."

The council has also been granted permission to display advertisement banners on the entrance to the building.