Wakefieldfirst | Latest News Feed http://www.wakefieldfirst.com Latest News from WakefieldFirst Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.srcreative.net/ Wakefield wins share of 20m culture fund http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-wins-share-of-20m-culture-fund/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-wins-share-of-20m-culture-fund/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-wins-share-of-20m-culture-fund/ Wakefield, home to The Hepworth Wakefield gallery (pictured), is one of five areas in England to benefit from a new £20m Cultural Development Fund.


The district, which is also home to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, has been given £4.4m to help turn it into an internationally renowned location promoting the UK's world-class creative industries.

Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright, who announced the winning areas, said the fund would help people build careers in the arts and culture locally, but "also boost wider investment and diversify the creative economy".

SAVE THE DATE FOR WAKEFIELD BUSINESS WEEK 2019 #WBW19 - FIVE DAYS ONE DISTRICT - MON 17 JUN to FRI 21 JUN http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/save-the-date-for-wakefield-business-week-2019wbw19-five-days-one-district-mon-17-jun-to-fri-21-jun/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/save-the-date-for-wakefield-business-week-2019wbw19-five-days-one-district-mon-17-jun-to-fri-21-jun/#comments Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/save-the-date-for-wakefield-business-week-2019wbw19-five-days-one-district-mon-17-jun-to-fri-21-jun/

Competition launched to find growing northern businesses to pitch to London investors ...... http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/competition-launched-to-find-growing-northern-businesses-to-pitch-to-london-investors--/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/competition-launched-to-find-growing-northern-businesses-to-pitch-to-london-investors--/#comments Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/competition-launched-to-find-growing-northern-businesses-to-pitch-to-london-investors--/ Following the success of last year’s Entrepreneurs of the North, the Innovation SuperNetwork is once again on the lookout for the North’s most innovative high-growth businesses to win a chance to pitch to a room full of London investors.

Designed to be a true showcase of the most promising up and coming businesses and entrepreneurs based in Yorkshire and Humber, the North East, North West, Tees Valley - Entrepreneurs of the North, is a bespoke event offering ambitious companies the opportunity to travel to London and meet investors who are proactively looking to expand their portfolio.

Estelle Blanks, executive director at the Innovation SuperNetwork who are organising the event in partnership with the UK British Angels Association (UKBAA), the British Business Bank and Natwest, said: “Entrepreneurs of the North has successfully brought together investors and businesses for the past two years with many of those businesses securing strong leads and several million pounds worth of investment as a result.

“From our work with growing companies, we know it can be difficult for northern businesses to raise the finance they need regionally. The event is all about broadening that access, bringing together investors ranging from Angels to VCs and building the northern interest and capacity of equity investors to help entrepreneurs unlock their business potential and continue to develop within the North of England.”

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of UKBAA, said: “We are aware that currently over 60% of equity capital is invested in entrepreneurs in London and the Golden Triangle, so UKBAA is delighted to be partnering with the Innovation SuperNetwork once again to enable promising growth-focused innovators from across the Northern regions to have access to a much wider investment community."

The session will give businesses 60 seconds to present their ideas to a room full of investors before having the opportunity to showcase their business and network with potential prospects. In the last two years, the event has attracted 160 investors ranging from angel investors interested in early-stage ideas through to large international funds, with potential deals identified for many of the companies involved.

NewCells Biotech saw significant success securing a total of £2m from two investors. Mike Nicholds CEO Newcells Biotech Ltd, said: “Entrepreneurs of the North played a pivotal role in helping us secure investment from NVM Private Equity and Northstar Ventures to support our ambitious growth plans. The support offered enabled us to do a professional presentation in front of a number of prestigious investors.”

Pickwatch also saw success securing finance via an angel investor. Founder and CEO, Shaun Lowrie, said: “Working with the Innovation SuperNetwork has been a great experience for us, leading to a dozen strong leads and ultimately £500k investment to support our next stage of growth.

“The support we received prior to meeting with investors helped us to put together the best possible pitch and really sell ourselves. Any business looking for investment should definitely get involved. It has been a successful experience for us and the start of something great for Pickwatch.”

The successful entrepreneurs will be invited to attend a pre-event pitch training workshop on Wednesday 13 February before the main event at Natwest’s iconic base in the City of London on Tuesday 5th of March. Estelle commented further; “our aim is to ensure the successful businesses really do represent the best of the North and give southern-based investors a unique ‘one stop-shop’ to identify their next big investment opportunity.”

Shaun Fooy, senior manager, UK Network, British Business Bank, said: “This is a great opportunity for high-growth businesses in the North and we are delighted to be able to support it, to enable ambitious businesses to drive forward their growth. The Bank identifies and helps reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK, so it’s great to support an event that will showcase some of the businesses in North East, North West, Tees Valley, Yorkshire and Humber regions to investors in London. “

Businesses across all sectors and of any size can apply, however they must comply with the below criteria to be eligible for consideration:

Based in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber or Tees Valley.

On the second or third stage of finance (looking for c£200,000 to £2.5m in equity investment).

Doing something innovative.

Companies wishing to be considered to take part in Entrepreneurs of the North 2019 can find the application form here. All entries must be completed and submitted by noon on Thursday 31 January.

The event forms part of the Innovation SuperNetwork’s objectives to support innovative businesses to access the finance they need to grow and innovate.

Entrepreneurs of the North is delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork, developed with around 50 partner organisations to support innovation in the North East. The SuperNetwork is supported by the North East LEP, Innovate UK, Engie, Northumbrian Water Group, and the North East BIC, with part funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Lloyds banking group supports Yorkshire Businesses in 2019 with up to 1.4bn of lending http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/lloyds-banking-group-supports-yorkshire-businesses-in-2019-with-up-to-14bn-of-lending-/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/lloyds-banking-group-supports-yorkshire-businesses-in-2019-with-up-to-14bn-of-lending-/#comments Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/lloyds-banking-group-supports-yorkshire-businesses-in-2019-with-up-to-14bn-of-lending-/ As part of Lloyds Banking Group’s national pledge to lend £18billion to UK businesses, the Group expects to support firms in Yorkshire with up to £1.4billion of lending during 2019.

As part of the Group’s continued commitment to help British businesses prosper, the announcement underlines to existing and new businesses across Yorkshire that the Group is committed to supporting businesses through 2019 and beyond.

The £1.4bn is available to firms across Yorkshire and will support entrepreneurs looking to start-up a new business, micro-businesses seeking to scale up and small businesses considering trading internationally for the first time. It will also support established mid-sized businesses and large, multinational corporations seeking further growth.

Last year, Lloyds Banking Group supported Barnsley based sustainable food retailer Company Shop, the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food and household products have begun a UK expansion programme. Supported through £4.2m funding package drawn from Lloyds Bank’s Clean Growth Financing Initiative, Company Shop has plans open a further five new superstores over the next two years.

Lloyds Banking Group Ambassador for Yorkshire and the Humber, Russell Galley, said: “We hope lending up to £1.4bn will go some way to help local firms realise their growth ambitions. Whether it’s a start-up tackling a breakthrough into Yorkshire’s expanding digital tech sector, or a large manufacturer shoring up supply chains ahead of Brexit, we are here to help with expertise and financial support. As part of our plan to help Britain prosper we’ll be by the side of business as they take on new opportunities and navigate challenges, be it recruitment, productivity or uncertainty.”

Throughout 2018, the Group demonstrated its ongoing commitment to supporting British businesses, launching initiatives such as the creation of the £500m growth fund to help firms invest in equipment which improves their productivity, backing the Lloyds Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre with an additional £5million to help train 3,500 manufacturing apprenticeships, and also the swift creation of a £50m fund to support small businesses within the Carillion supply chain.

In addition, the Group reinforced its support to the UK housing sector by launching a £500m fund for housing associations last year, supporting the Government’s pledge to deliver 300,000 houses each year by the middle of the next decade. It also committed £750m in 2018 for social housing projects, contributing to the Group’s commitment to enable more people in Britain to get a home.

Westgate Wakefield

17 Westgate


West Yorkshire


Sortcodes: 30-99-01


21/23 Ropergate


West Yorkshire


Sortcodes: 30-16-45, 77-71-23, 77-71-39, 77-71-52

South Elmsall

139-141 Barnsley Road

South Elmsall


West Yorkshire


Sortcodes: 77-71-65


75a-79 Carlton Street


West Yorkshire

WF10 1JE

Sortcodes: 77-71-15


Leeds Beckett University is offering businesses the chance to kick start their growth plans in 2019 with a package of free support worth over 6000. http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/leeds-beckett-university-is-offering-businesses-the-chance-to-kick-start-their-growth-plans-in-2019-with-a-package-of-free-support-worth-over-6000/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/leeds-beckett-university-is-offering-businesses-the-chance-to-kick-start-their-growth-plans-in-2019-with-a-package-of-free-support-worth-over-6000/#comments Wed, 16 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/leeds-beckett-university-is-offering-businesses-the-chance-to-kick-start-their-growth-plans-in-2019-with-a-package-of-free-support-worth-over-6000/ Eligible businesses will be able to register their business address and enjoy access to hot desking space at one of the University Business Centres in Wakefield, Halifax and Leeds for 6 months completely free of charge.

All businesses will also benefit from a one to one diagnostic to help tailor a package of support through the ERDF funded Ad:Venture programme which includes expert mentoring, masterclasses and consultancy. Each business can access a minimum of 12 hours support to help fuel growth, increase turnover, create jobs or develop new products and services.

By signing up to the programme business will also be invited to enter the annual Business Advantage Awards, now in its fifth year, which provides 5 winning businesses with additional support and advice from corporate partners Lupton Fawcett, WGN Accountants and Yorkshire Bank valued at over £6000. Entries close on 27th February.

‘’Working with Leeds Beckett University and AD:VENTURE has given us the space and time to grow faster and in a more sustainable way. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support that we have received.

We have a stronger understanding of who we are, why we’re doing this and who we should target. Moving to our new offices at the University Business Centre is a huge step forward for us and we are looking forward to what the future holds.’’ (Andy Jack, Candle Digital, An AD:Venture supported business).

Open to new and growing businesses less than 3 years old and located in the Leeds City Region this offer is available until July 2019.

For information about the offer, our Centres, eligibility and the support that is offered by AD:VENTURE please contact us on 0333 555 8855 ubc@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

Join Wakefield’s Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 February 2019. http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/join-wakefields-festival-of-food-drink-and-rhubarb-from-friday-22-to-sunday-24-february-2019/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/join-wakefields-festival-of-food-drink-and-rhubarb-from-friday-22-to-sunday-24-february-2019/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/join-wakefields-festival-of-food-drink-and-rhubarb-from-friday-22-to-sunday-24-february-2019/ The Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb is the first major event in the UK’s ‘foodie’ calendar, and we are proud to celebrate Wakefield’s traditional links with rhubarb growing.

Wakefield’s Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb is fun for all food and drink lovers, families and children. Entertainment and activities include cookery demonstrations, local produce with a rhubarb twist, hot street food, Deliciously Yorkshire market, street entertainment, children’s workshops, face painting and much more!

The festival will be held between 10am and 5pm on Friday 22, Saturday 23, and between 10am and 4pm on Sunday, 24 February 2019.

It centres on the Cathedral precinct and the Bull Ring in Wakefield with other parts of the city joining in with fringe and food events.

The festival has successfully established itself as one of the highlights of the UK’s food calendar over the last thirteen years.

We showcase local food and drink providers and celebrate the district’s unique tradition of rhubarb growing and its importance to the local economy.

As a new opportunity for 2019 we are looking to appoint a trader to provide a festival bar. The bar will be located within a 42ft yurt tent with heating, seating and a schedule of entertainment to be provided throughout. If you would like to be considered for the opportunity please download an application form and return by email or post by Friday 18 January.

If you would like to discuss the opportunity further please get in touch via the details found at the bottom of the page.

For more information visit the Experience Wakefield website

Contact us

Major Events Team

Wakefield One
PO box 700
Burton Street


Aston Barclay opens Europe’s most advanced vehicle auction centre in Normanton, Wakefield in late January http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/aston-barclay-opens-europes-most-advanced-vehicle-auction-centre-in-normanton-wakefield-in-late-january/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/aston-barclay-opens-europes-most-advanced-vehicle-auction-centre-in-normanton-wakefield-in-late-january/#comments Fri, 11 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/aston-barclay-opens-europes-most-advanced-vehicle-auction-centre-in-normanton-wakefield-in-late-january/  

Aston Barclay is in the final phases of developing its new 78,000 square feet auction super centre in Wakefield before its scheduled opening on 28 January.

The site is set to host 15 dealer and fleet auctions per month and has the capacity to sell 50,000 used vehicles annually, contributing to Aston Barclay’s plan of doubling its group sales volume to 160,000 vehicles by 2022.

Constructed on an 18-acre site a stone’s throw from the M1, M62 and A1, the super centre features two glass-fronted auction halls, interactive screens and artificial intelligence (AI).

The vision is that its first-class transport links will help turn the Wakefield site into the ultimate destination for the local motor trade with leisure facilities, a gourmet restaurant, and meeting rooms freely available to use.

With fully lit, air conditioned, dust-free internal storage for 200 cars and external parking for 2,500 cars, the facility will transform the buying and selling experience both physically and online.

A state-of-the-art inspection building complete with imaging bay and turntable has been built to capture each car’s condition when it arrives on site, while a full range of refurbishment services under the new Aston Barclay Enhanced brand will be offered to vendors and buyers.

Aston Barclay will immediately transfer its current Leeds auction sales activity and its 40 staff to the Wakefield super centre which will also become home to its Digital Solutions team and its group finance operation.

Wakefield will also become the head office for the newly acquired The Car Buying Group and its 30 staff which recently featured at number 20 in the 2018 Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list of fastest-growing private technology companies. The newly integrated Independent Motor Auctions, with its 20 staff, will also be located at the Wakefield super centre.

Aston Barclay’s current six-acre Leeds auction, which is consistently voted as the UK’s top auction site by its customers, will be turned into a used LCV centre during Q1 2019.

Aston Barclay’s CEO Neil Hodson said, “Wakefield is a game-changer for the remarketing sector and there is no other auction facility like it in Europe. We have created a five-star, dynamic environment filled with new technology which will be a great working environment for our buyers, vendors and colleagues alike.”

Neil continued, “This further supports our ambition of becoming a digital business with industry leading physical fulfilment.”

The Wakefield development continues Aston Barclay group’s strategy of creating large regional auction hubs, rather than a large network of smaller centres.

Wakefield Councils Business Support team met the Aston Barclay team in January 2018 when they were looking at Wakefield as a possibility. They were supported with the planning process and preparing their business grant application which will assist with their state of the art 'fit out' costs.

Aston Barclay will also benefit from recruitment support through our own resources and the Works Better programme when they open for business at the end of January 2019.

Have Your say on the new plan for Wakefield! Wakefield Council is preparing a new local plan to guide development in the district until 2036. Initial draft plan public consultation is open from Jan 10th to Feb 20th 2019 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/have-your-say-on-the-new-plan-for-wakefield-wakefield-council-is-preparing-a-new-local-plan-to-guide-development-in-the-district-until-2036-initial-draft-plan-public-consultation-is-open-from-jan-10th-to-feb-20th-2019/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/have-your-say-on-the-new-plan-for-wakefield-wakefield-council-is-preparing-a-new-local-plan-to-guide-development-in-the-district-until-2036-initial-draft-plan-public-consultation-is-open-from-jan-10th-to-feb-20th-2019/#comments Fri, 11 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/have-your-say-on-the-new-plan-for-wakefield-wakefield-council-is-preparing-a-new-local-plan-to-guide-development-in-the-district-until-2036-initial-draft-plan-public-consultation-is-open-from-jan-10th-to-feb-20th-2019/

Wakefield Headquartered Card Factory sales up despite “challenging” Christmas http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-headquartered-card-factory-sales-up-despite-challenging-christmas/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-headquartered-card-factory-sales-up-despite-challenging-christmas/#comments Fri, 11 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-headquartered-card-factory-sales-up-despite-challenging-christmas/ New store openings have boosted sales at high street gift card retailer Card Factory, but lower high street footfall has affected Christmas trading.

The listed retailer reported year-to-date group revenue growth of 3.4 per cent for the 11 months ended 31 December 2018. This was boosted by the opening of a net 51 new UK stores, taking the total estate to 973 sites.

Sales from cardfactory.co.uk also grew by 59.1 per cent during the period.

However, like-for-like sales were down 0.1 per cent, which Card Factory said reflected the "continuing weakness in consumer demand experienced across the retail sector in the run-up to Christmas".

Karen Hubbard, Card Factory chief executive, said: "The Christmas trading period was challenging due to lower high street footfall. However, Card Factory performed robustly in this competitive trading period. As a result, like-for-like store sales have remained consistent and in line with our quarter three update in November.

"Although the group has faced significant cost pressures in the year, these have reduced and we have been able to take mitigating action to maintain robust gross margins.

"Whilst we expect ongoing challenges from the consumer and macro backdrop, we continue to lead the market with our proposition, underpinned by our ongoing investment in our unique vertically integrated model which provides our business with significant competitive advantages."

Could you be a school governor? http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/could-you-be-a-school-governor/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/could-you-be-a-school-governor/#comments Fri, 11 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/could-you-be-a-school-governor/ Could you be a school governor?


Make a difference to the lives of young people!

Have a positive impact in the community!

Share and develop your professional skills!


Why Be a governor?

Wakefield schools need enthusiastic, committed volunteers to become governors and support and challenge school leaders to provide the best possible education for the children and young people in Wakefield




For more information:



Tel: 01977 721 524