Wakefield’s flagship performing arts college will be ‘city gateway’

An artist's impression of the proposed CAPA College building on Mulberry Way, Wakefield. The application will go before Wakefield Council next week.
An artist's impression of the proposed CAPA College building on Mulberry Way, Wakefield. The application will go before Wakefield Council next week.

Work on a state-of-the-art performing arts college could begin later this month, if the building is approved at a planning meeting next week.

Plans for the new CAPA College building were first unveiled in October last year. The 4,550 metre square building would have space for 500 students, and features dance, drama and singing studios, a 150-seat theatre and a public cafe.

An artist's impression of the proposed CAPA College.

An artist's impression of the proposed CAPA College.

Principal Claire Nicholson said: “We are thrilled that the plans for our new building will be debated by the council next week.

“The new premises on Mulberry Way will enable us to significantly expand our offering at CAPA College.

“We were heavily oversubscribed this year and we want to ensure that as many students as possible have access to this level of professional tuition and training.”

CAPA College wants the building to be open by September 2020.

Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield, said: “We’ve made excellent progress on finding a new home for CAPA since the Government’s botched attempts to move it to a building in Leeds.

“I pay tribute to the staff, governors, the diocese and students who have worked so hard to get to this exciting moment.

“This will be a landmark building for Wakefield, put our arts activity on the map and offer young people a path to an exciting career in the theatre.”

CAPA College (Creative and Performing Arts College) is the city’s first Department for Education-funded free school.

It currently operates out of rented facilities, where it provides full-time training for students aged 16-19 who wish to pursue a career in the arts, including dance, drama, musical theatre and production.

CAPA College hope that the new building will help them become a flagship for arts education in the North.

Architects Race Cottam Associates describe the planned site as “a gateway building to Wakefield”.

No objections have been registered against the application, though documents submitted with the planning application show that one local councillor had raised concerns about the impact the college might have on traffic in the city centre.

The planning application for CAPA College will go before Wakefield Council’s Planning and Highways Committee on Thursday, April 11.