Knottingley and Ferrrybridge Masterplan to be discussed at Cabinet meeting
Senior Wakefield councillors will be asked to give the green light to the Knottingley and Ferrybridge Masterplan for the next 20 years, when they meet on January 12.
Cabinet members will discuss the Masterplan that sets out a vision to revitalise and diversify the town centre, as well as providing a blue-print for the use of residential and business land.
It wants to support diverse employment opportunities to add to the existing business space offer, so there is diversity and flexible space to attract new businesses to invest in, and relocate to town centres.
Better work opportunities would help tackle in work poverty, help people gain skills, increasing take up of existing programmes for young people and the unemployed. This would increase financial stability and tackle poverty.
The ambitious plans include a major employment site in the south of the town, with plans to create 855,000sq metres of floor space. The intention is to also make it easier for people to get to the new employment sites by improving accessibility with cycling, walking and new public transport routes.
The Masterplan links employment to the creation of housing sites. It also highlights the importance of community hubs like Kellingley Club which can deliver courses to improve local skill and education levels so local people can access local jobs. Overall renovations at the Club will start in early 2021 to develop a Community Hub. The Council is working in partnership with the trustees of the Club to plan the work required.
It will provide support for people in the area to develop their work skills, employability, education and training, with enterprise support, to help local businesses and start-ups. People will also be able to take part in a range of sports activities and health and wellbeing initiatives.
The Masterplan has also identified major infrastructure improvements, which would reduce traffic and congestion in the town.
A new link road would join Pontefract Road and junction 33 of the M62 to the west of Knottingley and a loop south of Knottingley to join the A645 to the east of Knottingley.
This new road would unlock land for new business and housing development. It would reduce traffic including HGV movements and congestion through the town centre and support improvements to Hill Top and pedestrian access.
Cllr Darren Byford, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Skills, said: "This is an exciting time for Knottingley and Ferrybridge, as following consultations with residents and businesses on the proposals, we now have a tremendously positive plan for the future of the area and its residents.
"We are very ambitious for all our towns and as we continue to plan for the recovery of our district from COVID-19. This Masterplan for the Knottingley area provides a positive focus for future growth and development and improvements to employment opportunities that will support people's quality of life and communities in the long term.
"The Masterplan is crucial if Knottingley is to secure significant regional investment either through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, or to be in the best possible position to benefit should any new central Government funding initiatives be announced.
"There are some fantastic proposals around green spaces and new park areas as well as a real understanding that facilities like schools and health services need to be provided, which is why our partners at the CCG are fully engaged in developing the plan for the future."
Members of Wakefield's Cabinet are meeting virtually on Tuesday 12 January at 10.30am. The meeting can be watched live or later on the Council's website.
Notes to editors:
The Council is already investing in the area – having recently approved an additional £1million of funding for works at Knottingley Community Hub – formerly the Kellingley Miners Welfare Club.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority secured the money for the region from the Government's Getting Building Fund, which will support local projects designed to boost the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The newly submitted funding application to West Yorkshire Combined Authority, if successful, will increase the overall funding of the project from £3million to £4million.
Other Council investment projects taking place in Knottingley are:
- Demolition and new building of Ferrybridge pavilion including new changing rooms and showers - £785,000
- Shop front grants around Hill Top and Racca Green - £67,000
- Renovation works to Knottingley Town Hall - £28,000
Additionally, WDH has funded Broomhill Grove environmental improvements at a cost of £72,000.
Delivery of the Masterplan would be a partnership approach with the Council, developers and partner organisations all working together to ensure significant private sector investment happens and much needed employment opportunities materialise. Any proposals or development would require planning permission through the usual channels.
The Masterplan will be delivered in phases and in the short term will concentrate on sites and development opportunities in and on the edge of Knottingley and Ferrybridge.
The Council will continue to work with residents and businesses in Knottingley and Ferrybridge to listen to their views and ensure feedback from the consultation informs delivery of the Masterplan.
The Masterplan reflects the priorities in Wakefield Council's Economic Strategy - which identifies revitalising and diversifying town centres as a key element to the district's future success.
Green corridor infrastructure would help people access open space and countryside – as part of the Council's Climate Emergency agenda.