Plans progressing to develop Wakefield’s former Market Hall

Wakefield Council is progressing exciting plans to develop the former Market Hall in Wakefield into a unique space for residents and creative businesses, with the submission of a planning application for the site earlier this month.

The redevelopment of the site is being delivered by Wakefield Council with funding secured for the district through The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Cultural Development Fund programme.

The project will see the iconic site transformed into a mix of creative business incubation space, alongside social and learning spaces which will provide a regular programme of activity and events for residents and an independent food and beverage offer.

Cllr Jacquie Speight,  Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "The transformation of the former Market Hall is really exciting and will allow us to support local people develop new skills and access jobs in the creative and digital sector, alongside delivering a range of fun events and activities to support our local economy.

"The hugely popular Festival of the Moon and last year's Rhubarb Festival showcased the potential of the site and we've been able to use feedback from local people to help develop our plans."

COVID restrictions allowing, a series of interim events are planned for the site over coming months, before construction is due to start later in the year.

The plans for the site after redevelopment will see a regular programme of events and activities, including the opportunity to showcase local talent, in the main market hall. The former food hall building and service block will be utilised as incubation spaces for new start-up and micro SME creative and digital businesses. Alongside the recently launched Advance business support programme, this will provide vital help for new businesses to establish themselves and grow, creating high quality jobs for local people.

The Cultural Development Fund programme is managed by Wakefield Council and funded through a DCMS grant. The programme is driving growth in our creative and digital sector through a range of business support, creative skills development programmes and by providing opportunities to showcase local talent to wider audiences.

Advance is a new support programme for creative and cultural practitioners, freelancers and SMEs based in Wakefield and the wider Yorkshire Humber region. Delivered by Creative England, in partnership with the Council, Advance is funded through the Cultural Development Fund.

The Market Hall building was funded entirely by the original developers of Trinity Walk, Sovereign Land (Management) Ltd and was built at no cost to the Council.