Work starts on Wakefield’s historic Crown Court building
The former Crown Court building, Wakefield
A £1million project
gets underway this week (25 June) to repair the structural damage on one of
Wakefield’s oldest and most historic landmarks – after years of neglect under
Contractors have started on site at the former Crown Court building on Wood
Street and will be repairing its shell to make sure it is waterproof and
weather tight. Renovation work will also take place inside to make the interior
The old Crown Court building is a key part of the Wakefield Civic Quarter
Regeneration Area. This is an important historic area of the city and its
transformation is a key priority for the city and the Council. Wakefield
Council has been actively marketing the site and is in talks with interested
Wakefield Council was forced to step in to safeguard the structure of the
building after its previous owners abandoned it in an unsafe state, and is now
planning for its restoration and conversion that will create high quality
development and new employment opportunities in the city centre.
Cllr Denise Jeffery,
Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Skills, said: "This is a Grade II*
listed building and is a key part of Wakefield's heritage. We are committed to
restoring this important historic building so that it can be redeveloped and
brought back into use.
"Previous owners had destroyed the building to a point where it became
unstable. We have stepped in to make the building safe but now we need to
invest in the building's future to help us secure a developer to fully repair
and restore it.
"The former Crown Court building is key to the regeneration of the civic
area, especially Wood Street. By protecting this listed building, and carrying
out repair works to its shell, we can help to make sure it is an attractive
prospect for future development.
“We hope it will act as a catalyst attract high quality redevelopment into the
heart of the city, bringing with it new employment opportunities."
The former Crown Court Building is a grade II* listed building and the oldest
civic building in Wood Street. It was built in 1810 although was later
extended. It was in use as a court building until its closure in 1992 and was
sold by the HM Courts to the private sector in 1994. Despite plans to restore
and convert the premises by the previous owners, little work was undertaken,
resulting in the building continuing to deteriorate.
The severe deterioration of the building resulted in it being placed on the
Historic England's "at risk" register in July 2013. The Council
acquired the property, made it safe and after assessing the severity of damage
has been able to finally begin the essential repair work.
The work is expected to be completed by early Spring 2019.