Council and private sector work to boost economy

​Date: 10/03/2015

Wakefield's economy has grown significantly with a boost to local jobs and reduction in unemployment according to a new report, published today.

As a part of the annual report from Wakefield First – a public and private organisation responsible for economic growth, attracting investment, and raising the profile of the district - figures reveal that the local economy is showing positive signs.

The report shows a total of 76 new start-up businesses and nearly 130 jobs have been created over the past year through the Wakefield Business Support Programme. The number of people in unemployment has also reduced from 10.2% in 2013 to 8.5% in 2014 with a total of 73% of people in the district in employment. The district has been named the fastest growing economy in the Leeds City Region with a 54% increase in GVA over the past ten years.

It highlights 210 apprenticeships starts by the end of 2014 through the Wakefield Apprenticeship Hub and plans to bring a new university centre in partnership with Wakefield College under consideration for 2016/17.

Cllr Peter Box, Leader of Wakefield Council and Deputy Chair of Wakefield first said: "This is good news for the district's economy and shows our ongoing commitment and support to boost economic growth and help businesses thrive.

"In the face of tough economic pressures Wakefield and our local business community is showing its resilience. We have developed strong relationships with the private sector which is helping to strengthen and grow our local economy. As a Council we have a clear focus on creating jobs and economic growth and will continue to build on our success."

Paul Reid, Chair of Wakefield first said: "The economic signs for the Wakefield district are encouraging and there is a vibrancy in the private sector that bodes well for the future. The creative arts and digital sectors are expanding adding to an already strong economic base. And the public sector continues to encourage inward investment and growth through pragmatic support and a long term vision.

"Wakefield First will continue to drive alignment between the public and private sectors to ensure the economic performance of the district continues to strengthen."

The report also lists a number of key developments in the district including the success of the shop front improvements grants in Castleford, restoration of historic buildings in Pontefract, housing developments in Featherstone and the South East along with refurbishments projects in Normanton and Knottingley.

For more information and to see the report visit