First Town Funds tranche boosts city centre transformation

23 November 2022

To support Wakefield's levelling up agenda, the government has released another instalment of £5 million to help the district realise its vision for creating a culturally vibrant city.

This brings the total amount received to £8 million from an allocation of £44 million.

The latest funds will be used to purchase properties in the city and to conduct site surveys.

Currently, the council is also purchasing properties in Kirkgate for the creation of a contemporary urban village, dubbed Kirkgate Innovative Neighbourhood Gateway in development plans.

In addition, it is looking to buy the Old Westgate Rail Station to create a hotel and an office block, as well as properties opposite Wakefield Cathedral for the creation of the first city-centre open air event space.

This money is expected to be spent by the end of the financial year (31 March 2023) when another instalment is expected to be released for further work.

This is part of the planned regeneration of the city centre to transform it into a thriving and culturally vibrant city, making it adaptable to changing consumer demand and achieving new growth in residential, retail, culture and entertainment sectors.

The council’s Levelling Up programme includes £24million from government’s Towns Fund and £20million from the Levelling Up Fund.

For further information on the changing face and business opportunities in Wakefield city, visit our city regeneration web page or subscribe to our Wakefield City Regeneration Newsletter to get updates straight to your inbox.

Planned projects include:

  • Contemporary residential development in Kirkgate, on the doorstep of the city centre.
  • High-quality offices and a hotel on the site of the Old Westgate Railway Station.
  • Relocation of the Wakefield Library and Museum into the heart of the city centre.
  • Shop improvement grants for businesses on Bread Street.
  • Flexible multi-use outdoors entertainment area in Cathedral Square.
  • Extended food and beverage corridor from Cross Square into Wood Street.
  • New homes and community spaces in Wakefield’s Civic Quarter by Rushbond.
  • Tileyard North - the largest creative industries hub outside of London by CPP.