Wakefield city centre’s civic area ‘masterplan’

Civic Quarter in Wakefield
Civic Quarter in Wakefield

A MAJOR transformation of the city’s civic quarter could bring new hotels and restaurants to the area.

On Tuesday Wakefield Council’s cabinet committee will consider a ‘masterplan’ that would attract jobs to the city centre area.

Council bosses are looking to buy historic civic buildings so that they can restore them as part of a major regeneration project.

And a cabinet report said the council would encourage civic and educational use of the sites, as well as using them as hotels or restaurants.

Coun Denise Jeffery, cabinet member for regeneration and economic growth, said: “The plans to regenerate Wakefield’s Civic Quarter will encourage further economic growth in the district by increasing employment opportunities.

“The proposals would ensure several key civic buildings are developed and will build on the regeneration of Wakefield as a whole.”

The development of the civic quarter would include Wood Street, Rishworth Street, Gill Yard, Northgate and Bond Terrace.

The area features several historic listed buildings, such as the old Crown Court building which has stood empty on Wood Street for many years.

Discussions between the council and landowners have already begun.

Plans to use the old Wakefield Museum building to host performing arts shows were announced last year, and Wakefield College is looking to carry out a £1m refurbishment on the grade-II listed building.

And the Registry of Deeds building, on Newstead Road, will soon be emptied after it was found to be unfit for housing the West Yorkshire Archives. The archives will be moved to a purpose-built site in the Kirkgate area if funding bids are successful.

A public outdoor space at the heart of the civic quarter was completed last month.

And the ‘masterplan’ would retain the existing street network and improve pedestrian access.

People can see the plans at an exhibition next month.