Planning consent secured for 130,000 sq ft Rutland Mills arts masterplan in Wakefield

Architecture practice HawkinsBrown has won planning and listed building consent for its 130,000 sq ft masterplan to regenerate a complex of grade-II listed Victorian Mill Buildings on the River Calder in Wakefield.

Sited next to the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery, Rutland Mills will form a new phase in the Wakefield Waterfront masterplan.

The project is set to expand the creative, art and cultural programme currently led by the Hepworth.

HawkinsBrown have been appointed to in December 2015 to develop designs that aim to regenerate the Rutland Mills complex into an arts-led mixed-use development.

Katie Tonkinson, director of HawkinsBrown’s Manchester studio, said: “Our vision for Rutland Mills is for a rich mixed-use, inclusive, creative and cultural cluster.

“The rich and diverse offering at Rutland Mills will entice visitors already following the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle to prolong their stay in Wakefield, while providing a new and exciting destination for the local community.”

The approved design repairs and repurposes a complex of mills which have remained derelict for almost 20 years. HawkinsBrown will undertake remedial work on the grade-II listed buildings, with new interventions such as external towers for lifts and circulation touching lightly upon the historic fabric.

The shape of the mills’ 34m high chimney, which was demolished in 1982, will be recreated by a steel lattice structure that will be internally lit at night to create a beacon for the complex.

A total of 32,000 sq ft of space will be created in new buildings built in brick alongside the mill buildings. The vision for the complex includes studio space for artists, designers and musicians; workspace for the digital and tech industries; artisan craft and makers; commercial space; retail; restaurant and hotel offers; event and gallery space and education.

The masterplan will also deliver new public realm, including a central courtyard event space, gateways, and a new route to the River Calder.