Wakefield's first ever high street summit declared a success

Wakefield's first high street summit has been declared a success.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 4:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 5:28 pm
The high street summit was the first of its kind in Wakefield. Picture courtesy of Wakefield Council/Twitter

The event, which took place on Monday, brought together business leaders, property owners and the district's politicians to tackle the uncertain futures faced by the city and town centres.

The council has expressed a desire to make Wakefield city centre more focused around leisure and food, as the traditional retail industry suffers decline at the hands of online shopping.

Bill Grimsey, the author of a respected review about the future of high streets across the UK, will also visit Wakefield next month.

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The summit brought together business leaders, landlords and politicians. Picture from Wakefield Council/Twitter

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, council leader Peter Box said: "My view was the high street summit was an excellent event. It was really, really good, with some strong contributions.

"What we now need to decide is what we to do next.

"Bill Grimsey is coming here on April 3, and so I've asked officers start work on a programme for that day."

Chief executive Merran McRae told the summit on Monday that it was important to offer residents and visitors a "unique" experience when they come to Wakefield.

What can be done to address the crisis facing high streets in the district?

She said: "We need a single vision where we all have the same picture of what our city centre can look like. There's a lot of passion and commitment to do that."