Merry Christmas from Wakefield first!

22 December 2016

Well 2016 has been quite a year! 

With Brexit, Trump and the new style Toblerone bar causing outrage, it’s been controversial, it’s been political and yet still a positive time for growth for business across the UK.

But what about 2016 in Wakefield … Our district has shown tremendous growth in the face of adversity, in its businesses and in investment, and we’d like to show you what has been achieved, and tell you all to give yourselves at big pat on the back!!

Good Growth

The Wakefield Economy is £6.5 billion; we are the 4th largest in city region after Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees.

GVA per head is increasing due to:

Employment in sectors such as Business and Professional services.
The continued strength in Manufacturing.

At almost £19,500 GVA per capita is the 2nd Highest in Yorkshire

Total Investment Generated into the District

Total private sector investment tracked in 2016 £164,039,000. We are on track to achieve 213m investment target for 2016/17 financial year. The investment has created over 300 new jobs for the district.

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has provided grant support totalling over £2.8m for 22 businesses to grow their business through land or property purchase and capital expenditure through the Business Growth Fund. Total project costs for these businesses have totalled to £22m and have provided 300 new jobs to the district.

Business Week 

The 4th Wakefield Business Week has been hailed as a great success with an estimated 1000* businesses and entrepreneurs participating in a variety of events across the week.  Delivered in partnership between Wakefield first, Wakefield Council, Wakefield Bondholders and Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and with events and sponsorship from a host of private sector businesses across the district, Wakefield Business Week is making its mark and building momentum – A truly inclusive, non-sales and business focussed week that stands out from the rest!

Plans are well underway for Business Week 2017 WC 12TH June so watch this space!

Wakefield Bid
The campaign for Wakefield BID has now begun with the messages by and for the business:

‘‘Through pride, passion and partnership, Wakefield Business Improvement District will give business the voice  to re-discover its sense of identity, as a bright busy and thriving city centre and perceived as a positive and ambitious place to be, by day and night.’

Wakefield BID goes to vote in February 2017. A huge campaign started from December 2016 and will continue into February 2017. To find out more visit the Website–


The Wakefield apprenticeship Hub was the top performing hub in the Leeds City region.  With a total of 465 apprenticeships created and 632 Wakefield businesses supported with apprenticeships & skills

Wakefield businesses have tapped into over £350k Skills Service funding meaning approx. £700,000 is being spent on training by Wakefield employers. Upskilling their new and current staff and increasing higher skill levels in Wakefield.


As we head towards the festive season, we look back proudly at what has been another hugely successful (and busy) year for Bondholders. We will be reflecting on the past 12 months at our annual general meeting on 18th January.  December has been a record month for new joiners, with 13 additional companies joining the scheme. New members include Matrix, Rushbond, Local Eyes, M2R and Ackworth Mill Dam School, this takes membership numbers to 134.


During the councils 2015/16 financial year 1,940 new homes have been built which is a record high for Wakefield. This figure is +21% against our target.
Wakefield is in fact the only local authority in the Leeds city region to exceed targets, and is top 5 in the UK for building new homes!


The Wakefield Eastern Relief Road is underway and will open up substantial job opportunities for local people by providing direct access to the proposed Wakefield East employment growth area. It will provide an alternative route around the city centre, reduce congestion and improve accessibility. This is due to be completed by May 2017. 


We are looking forward to what’s to come next year and hearing all your good news and success stories that show how great our business community is……keep the news and stories coming in!

If you need advice or support for any aspect of your business – Contact us to see what we can do to help.

Ultimately this success is down to the hard work of our fantastic business community…that means you!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the team at Wakefield first !