The City

The City Regeneration Team aims to help build and maintain Wakefield as an even better place to work, live and visit. Our current regeneration efforts are divided between 5 areas of the city: the Waterfront, Kirkgate, Westgate, the Civic Quarter and the City Centre:

In addition, we are also working to improve the wider City area by supporting the City Fields housing development near Eastmoor.

Our efforts in the City are guided by the Central Wakefield Area Action Plan (CWAAP), adopted in 2009 as the statutory development plan for the city centre. The key objective in the CWAAP is for central Wakefield to become (within 10 to 15 years of its adoption) a "distinctive and vibrant centre at the heart of the District's economy, making a significant contribution to the prosperity and diversity of the Leeds City Region and the Yorkshire and Humber region". The CWAAP followed Renaissance Charters for Wakefield published in 2002 and 2005 which helped to shape comprehensive regeneration efforts in the city focused upon the improvement of the physical environment and the direct involvement of local people in the process.

To guide the next phase of the city's regeneration, a city centre masterplan will be in place by Autumn 2021. More information can be found here.

If you'd like to talk to us about our work or discuss how we might support an idea you have for improving the city, you can find our contact details at the bottom of the page.

Over the last few years the Council has worked hard with partners to deliver a number of major projects which are changing the face of our city. Here's a summary of the work we're involved in and some of our recent successes:

City Centre

Towns Fund

A total of 45 places across the Northern Powerhouse and 30 places in the Midlands Engine were among the 101 places invited to apply for up to £25 million in funding from the Towns Fund

The towns eligible for support include places with proud industrial and economic heritage but that have not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas. Communities, businesses and the local authority will now work together to draw up plans to transform their urban centres with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture to improve their economic growth. The aim of the fund is to raise living standards and invest in transport, technology and skills to help towns to thrive.

Following our successful bid, the Council will work closely with the Wakefield High Street Taskforce to oversee work associated with the Fund. The Taskforce has produced a Town Investment Plan and will now inform planning for the delivery of the Town Deal. More information on the Taskforce and the Towns Fund is available here.

The Towns Fund will assist with the recovery of town and city centres post Covid-19. Wakefield Council are currently working on how this may be achieved to give the best outcome for the city.

Masterplanning

A masterplan assists in guiding the development of a place; it provides a strategic framework to steer physical development and economic growth. Our masterplan framework is being developed through the gathering of information and place analysis to create a vision, supported by clear proposals and recommendations to shape the city's future development and address areas of decline. Proposals emerging through this work will enable a series of high quality developments and complementary schemes that will contribute to an inclusive, sustainable and cohesive future for Wakefield city centre.

Our city centre masterplan is a long term enabling document for future change and development, ensuring that Wakefield is well placed as a 21st century city where visitors and residents choose to live, work, play and experience.

More information on the masterplan, as well as the public consultations .

Other Successes

  • Trinity Walk, the city's major new 500,000 sq ft shopping centre (constructed by Sovereign Land, AREA Property Partners and Shepherd Construction) is just one of our projects that has delivered real change in Wakefield, our development flyer shows how the Council brought it to life;
  • Completion of a city centre public realm programme creating new public spaces and refurbished streets; and
  • Completion of significant parts of the Emerald Ring, a new circulation traffic system with new sections of road to reduce city centre traffic and a pedestrian-friendly central area (this includes the North Wakefield Gateway).

Civic Quarter

Following the Council's acquisition of a number of derelict historic buildings (the Old Crown Court and Former Wood St Police Station) and demolition of the Rishworth Street Multi-storey car park, a Yorkshire based developer (Rushbond) is planning to deliver a sensitive residential-led regeneration scheme in the area.

This will include re-purposing the Police station into apartments and building a mews/townhouse development on the former car park site.

The Old Crown Court is to be re-purposed for a public/community use.

Works are expected to start in 2022

Kirkgate

Regeneration of the Kirkgate development area is led by the Kirkgate Development Plan. Some more detail on this was presented at a 2012 exhibition which can be found here.

The restoration and redevelopment of the Grade II listed Kirkgate Railway Station was completed in 2015. Together with the £6m Kirkgate Transport Infrastructure Scheme this improved connectivity into the city and to the Waterfront for rail passengers, motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

Previous development also included the demolition of Crown House, a derelict office block and in its place, the construction of the innovative and distinctive West Yorkshire History Centre building, home to the West Yorkshire Archives.

The area is set to see further change with the development of brownfield land, assembled to enable a residential scheme to be brought forward. A key site in this area is Chantry House. Together with the former Snooty Fox public house, this derelict office block has been demolished to make way for improvements to the aesthetics of the area via the delivery of well-designed and distinctive new housing by 2024. Our aim is to turn this key gateway site into a quality neighbourhood with a strong sense of place and further residential development will take place in the wider Lower Kirkgate area over the next 5 years to help ensure this happens.

Westgate

Merchant Gate

Merchant Gate is the name we've given to the area of the City that sits between County Hall and Westgate train station. It includes the Council's offices and the new multi-use facility.

The Merchant Gate regeneration project has been completed in partnership with the English Cities Fund, Muse Developments and Network Rail. Spanning 12 years, the scheme delivered:

  • The 90,000 sq ft Merchant Gate buildings, a multi-use facility comprising offices, retail and leisure space as well as 66 apartments;
  • A new mainline train station;
  • A new 1450-space multi-storey car park;
  • A townhouse development by Strata comprising over 100 properties;
  • Significant public realm improvements; and
  • Wakefield One, the Council's office building, which opened in 2011

A case study completed by Muse can be accessed here.

 


The final element of the scheme is the completion of a college building for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) immediately in front of Wakefield One. While unfortunate setbacks are likely to prevent the project from meeting its original completion date in 2020, though we are now looking forward to seeing this final piece of the puzzle open for up to 500 performing arts students in 2022. A useful outline of the development (as well as some additional possible areas of work for the future) are given by our development flyer.

Waterfront

The Wakefield Waterfront Regeneration Scheme aims to transform the southern gateway approach to Wakefield City Centre by creating a heritage rich urban destination with dedicated space for creative industries, leisure, housing and tourism.

Development already completed includes a dedicated creative arts space at the award winning Hepworth Gallery, established within a landmark building of architectural distinction. The wider Waterfront project included 52 new waterside residential apartments and 2 new build office spaces including office accommodation within the converted Grade II* listed Calder & Hebble Navigation Warehouse.

A key priority of the Waterfront regeneration includes the refurbishment of the listed buildings of Rutland Mills. The Tileyard Studios development of the site will build upon our initial success and will become a hub for creative industries with a national profile. Some more detail on the plans is available here.

For our development leaflet, click here.


Contact us

Regeneration Team

Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street
Wakefield
WF1 2EB

01924 306630