Councillors commit to the future of Wakefield’s high streets
have today outlined their support to boost the future of high streets across
At the meeting of Full Council, councillors have agreed to work with the private
sector to develop a compelling bid to secure a share of the recently announced
£675m Future High Streets Fund for the district.
The Council has also confirmed its support for a ‘Wakefield High Street Summit’
event to bring together retailers, property owners and other interested parties
to set out a vision and agree an approach to revitalising Wakefield’s city and
Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council
Cllr Peter Box CBE,
Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We have today outlined our commitment to
boosting our city and town centres and will do all we can to help secure
funding for Wakefield from the Future High Streets Fund.
“We need to be proactive and take a concerted response to the issues faced by
our high streets, so that we are in the strongest position possible to revive
and repurpose our town and city centres to deliver on our aspirations for the
“By holding a ‘High Street Summit’ we can all work together to respond to the
shared challenges faced by our town and city centre businesses.”
The recommendations approved today, support the Council’s ambitious five year
district plan to boost economic growth. The plan aims to position a ‘world
class’ Wakefield at the centre of Britain’s economy, to create ‘successful
business, successful people and successful places’ in the district.
The district’s new economic plan wants to bring new companies that complement
the existing businesses in the area – with millions of pounds invested to
create good quality employment at all levels for all residents.
Recent announcements such as Chanel 4’s decision to locate to a new base at
Leeds is one such opportunity noted, as there will be demand for studio, retail
and creative space – which Wakefield is in a strong position to accommodate,
particularly at emerging developments such as Rutland Mills.
The report also highlights how these recommendations will be considered as part
of the Council’s Local Plan process, providing a timely opportunity to feed
into a framework for delivering these schemes to revitalise the city and town
The draft plan, which will go out to public consultation in the New Year, sets
out how the district will develop until 2036 to ensure residents’ needs are met
in areas such as new jobs, housing, retail, education and the environment.
The Council will now work on an initial application to the Future High Streets
Fund, to be submitted by spring next year. If successful in its bid, the
Council would look to use to the funding to maximise opportunities to cater for
the growth of online retail, demand for fulfilment centres, retail warehouses
and collection facilities.
The Full Council is still available to watch on the Council’s website at www.wakefield.gov.uk/livestream