Wakefield Kirkgate station completes £5.6m restoration project

Wakefield’s original rail station, which first opened in 1840 is to be officially re-opened on Monday 14 September.

Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council and Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority will be joined by Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP to unveil a plaque marking the station’s £5.6 million refurbishment.

As well as providing much improved passenger facilities the upgraded station is seen as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the Kirkgate area and unlocks £38m of future regeneration for the southern part of Wakefield city.

The two-year restoration of the Grade II listed Wakefield Kirkgate station made possible by environmental charity, Groundwork and partners, has brought the building back to its former glory. It has also created a café/retail space, offices, meeting rooms for the local business community and incubation units for start-up businesses.

Cllr Peter Box said,

“Wakefield Council has worked alongside our partners over the last few years to ensure that Kirkgate Station is a gateway to the city centre that the people of Wakefield deserve and can be proud of.

“Good transport links are key to underpinning WYCA’s aims to create the right environment for business to grow, and this is the Wakefield District’s second such project, following the new Castleford Bus Station which opened in February.

“Kirkgate provides an impressive gateway to this part of the city. The new look station not only provides a much improved experience for rail users but is a crucial element of the area’s regeneration. I am confident that this will boost the investment and economic potential in Kirkgate and help further revitalise this area of the city.”

Peter Cooper, Deputy Chair of Groundwork Wakefield said,

“Groundwork is dedicated to changing places and changing lives. We are proud to have led this project with support from our partners. This inspirational building will change the lives of passengers, local residents and businesses.  We are currently supporting businesses to establish themselves in the station building and have made significant progress in securing tenants – we’re confident the building will be a hive of activity by the end of the year.”

The project has been led by Groundwork, working in partnership with Department for Transport, Network Rail, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Wakefield Council, The Railway Heritage Trust, Northern Rail, Grand Central, and has also been supported financially by the Yorkshire and Humber 2007-2013 European Regional Development Fund Programme, The Headley Trust and Garfield Weston.