Wakefieldfirst | Latest News Feed http://www.wakefieldfirst.com Latest News from WakefieldFirst Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.srcreative.net/ Local Plan 2036 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/local-plan-2036/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/local-plan-2036/#comments Wed, 15 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/local-plan-2036/ Wakefield District - Local Plan 2036

Wakefield council is preparing a new Local Plan to guide the future growth of Wakefield District up to 2036. Where will new houses and employment go? Tell us about land you think should be developed.

For more information or to comment please visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/wdlp2036

Your views are important to us!




25,000 fundraising target smashed in Arena Group’s 25for25 campaign http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/pound25000-fundraising-target-smashed-in-arena-groups-25for25-campaign/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/pound25000-fundraising-target-smashed-in-arena-groups-25for25-campaign/#comments Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/pound25000-fundraising-target-smashed-in-arena-groups-25for25-campaign/ At the start of Arena Group’s 25th anniversary year, an ambitious target of raising £25,000 for local hospices was set. This target has been smashed with the final total raised being over £32,200 thanks to the commitment of Arena people and the support of colleagues, families, suppliers, partners and friends.

A diverse and sustained range of fundraising activities have peppered the year from raffles and cake bakes to marathons, Tough Mudder and a team skydive which alone raised over £11,000. Customers and partners also made donations including over £3,000 from Toshiba and a hamper from Betty’s of Harrogate.

The beneficiaries of this concerted effort are the East Lancashire, Wakefield and Rotherham hospices. They have commented:

“It costs around £11,500 to run Wakefield Hospice every day, we are open 24/7 every day of the year providing specialist end of life care to patients and support to their families at a very difficult time.  We are so grateful to Arena and all your colleagues for their generous support, giving their time to raise funds for the hospices.   We are so pleased you were able to exceed your original target of raising £25,000. This is a fantastic achievement and a wonderful contribution of the work of the hospices.  Thank you to everyone at Arena, we feel privileged to have your support during your special anniversary year.” Keeley Harrison, Fundraising Manager, Wakefield Hospice 

"On behalf of Rotherham Hospice I would like to express our HUGE thanks and appreciation for choosing to raise funds for us throughout your 25th anniversary year. When you initially told us that you were aiming to raise £25,000 to split between 3 Hospices, we couldn't believe it and were so overwhelmed, but £32,209 is incredible!!! It goes without saying how much this means to the staff at the Hospice, when we have an annual running cost of £5.5million a year, but more importantly it means so much more to our patients, their families and friends. This money will give a Dad, a Mum, a husband, a wife, a son, a daughter the chance to be exactly that person for the short time that they might have. Arena Group you have allowed a family to be a unit for as long as possible, enabling them to focus on nothing other than this without worries of pain, anxiety and stress. From all the team here at Rotherham Hospice, thank you."  Samantha Wood, Head of Fundraising and Communications

“We are overwhelmed by the support from everyone at Arena Group. It costs approximately £3.7m a year to keep the hospice running so our £10k equates to keeping the hospice running for a day!” Leanne Green, Fundraiser, East Lancashire Hospice

The total amount raised was unveiled at the Arena annual meeting by the admin, finance and marketing teams who were recognised as the 25for25 champions for raising the most funds in the year-long campaign. Arena employees also welcomed the new challenge for the current year, to raise funds for Lisburne School in honour of Neil Singleton, an Arena colleague who sadly passed away in October.

Adrian Fitzpatrick, Arena’s managing director commented, “I have truly been blown away by the energy and enterprise demonstrated by the whole team in order to raise such a huge sum for these 3 very worthy causes. I am astonishingly proud both of what Arena stands for and of seeing its core values continue to shine brightly in our 25th year.”

Watch our video:

Plans for 25th celebrations take flight. Employees gathering to mark 25th anniversary are filmed by overhead drone. http://www.arenagroup.net/articles/discover-the-people-behind-great-customer-service?tag=Videos

100,000 Revamp brings new opportunities for Club Gatsby & The Gatsby Lounge http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/pound100000-revamp-brings-new-opportunities-for-club-gatsby-amp-the-gatsby-lounge/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/pound100000-revamp-brings-new-opportunities-for-club-gatsby-amp-the-gatsby-lounge/#comments Wed, 1 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/pound100000-revamp-brings-new-opportunities-for-club-gatsby-amp-the-gatsby-lounge/ One of Wakefield City Centre’s iconic nightclubs, Fanny & Bacardi has recently undergone a £100,000 refurbishment and rebrand, embracing a new identity as Club Gatsby & The Gatsby Lounge, Bank Street. Creating more than 20 jobs for local residents and supporting Wakefield’s ever changing evening economy.

Embracing the 1920’s theme and décor Club Gatsby & The Gatsby Lounge is a beautiful high-end venue, aiming to change the face of the over 25’s evening offering in Wakefield.  With glamourous feel good music entertainment on a weekend there is also quality jazz nights, and entertainment on a Sunday with LIVE music.

The Gatsby Lounge has captured the decadence of the 1920s embracing a modern "Old Hollywood" twist with its very own Gatsby dancers. The recent investment is not only changing the face of things but the business model as well.

Formerly known for being open two nights per week as a Nightclub week The Gatsby Lounge, now has the potential to open up to a full 7 days a week, as a daytime corporate venue.  

The changes made have placed the business in a position to offer social hire for events, meetings, parties and functions. 

Dale Alderton, Director, at Club Gatsby & The Gatsby lounge says;

‘’Wakefield is changing, the variety of high-end quality establishments is now increasing and I feel confident that we have rebranded the venue to meet the requirements of this new clientele now visiting the district from far and wide!’’

Sunday 22nd October saw the successful launch of the first live jazz afternoon tea sessions.

For more information on what’s available go www.thegatsbylounge.co.uk  or www.clubgatsby.co.uk.


Trampoline Park Operator Begins European Expansion Plans http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/trampoline-park-operator-begins-european-expansion-plans/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/trampoline-park-operator-begins-european-expansion-plans/#comments Wed, 1 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/trampoline-park-operator-begins-european-expansion-plans/ A Castleford-based indoor trampoline park operator is beginning to look for sites in Europe to aid its expansion.

Gravity has instructed Savills to lead its expansion into Europe, with plans to open sites in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Ireland and Poland.

The operator is looking at potential sites of between 15,000 sq ft and 30,000 sq ft in large scale leisure schemes, shopping centres and retail parks.  

They are focused on all major markets, particularly those in prime urban areas and regional shopping and leisure venues and sites need a minimum eaves height of 5.2 metres for at least 12,000 sq ft of the internal floor space.

Harvey Jenkinson, chief executive of Gravity, said:  "Our property strategy has been a key part of our success to date.  

"We look to partner with the landlords and developers of major retail and leisure schemes and venues, and see the Gravity offer as an integral part of the overall leisure mix.  

"This is in contrast to the cost-focused, standalone approach adopted by many local or less brand focused operators."

Steve Henderson, retail director at Savills, said:

"Gravity has undergone phenomenal success in the UK since its launch in 2014 and also has a proven track record of boosting sales and footfall for surrounding operators at the schemes in which it is located.  

"We are excited to be taking the brand into mainland Europe for the first time and look forward to announcing details of deals secured in the near future."

Larry Brennan, head of European retail agency at Savills, added:

"We are delighted to partner with Gravity for its European roll-out.The firm is not only well-backed financially, but is led by a fantastic management team.  

"We have found them extremely flexible and inventive in their approach to opportunities as long as the business case stands and the minimum requirements, most importantly height, can be achieved."

Ice products manufacturer secures cool 4.5m investment http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/ice-products-manufacturer-secures-cool-pound45m-investment/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/ice-products-manufacturer-secures-cool-pound45m-investment/#comments Wed, 1 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/ice-products-manufacturer-secures-cool-pound45m-investment/ A West Yorkshire ice products manufacturer has invested £4.5m in new machinery to launch a new range of ‘premium’ ice cubes.

The Ice Co in South Kirkby has bought the new equipment, which will produce 300,000 ice cubes per hour, with the help of a £2m revolving credit facility and £1.2m asset finance facility from Lloyds Bank.

The machines will produce large ice cubes designed to cool drinks quickly while melting slowly.

The Ice Co says it is targeting the range at the rising number of consumers looking to bring an “improved drinking experience, both alcoholic and soft, to their home”.

The firm shipped out almost 1,000 lorry loads of ice during June, the same as 10 miles of back to back arctic trucks, after record breaking temperatures for the month.

The company forms part of the J.Marr group, a sixth generation family business first established in 1860 with roots in the fishing industry.

Giles Wharton, finance director at The Ice Co, said:

“According to our research, a good host always has plenty of ice in the freezer!

“Consumers have a growing penchant for premium drinking at home, by treating themselves or for impressing guests. The new line we’ve launched is designed to tap into this trend.

“When helping us with the investment, the team at Lloyds Bank showed an excellent understanding of the seasonal nature to our business, with the finance package tailored to help us keep on top of our cashflow.”

Matt Pollard, relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:

“While the business may be more than 150 years old, The Ice Co is not short of innovative, entrepreneurial ideas that keep them on top of the market.

“The firm’s exporting activities are also setting an excellent example to other businesses and showing the healthy demand for UK made produce in overseas markets. It’s companies like this that are helping Britain to prosper.”

Young Entrepreneur Shortlist for Statement's Dan http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/young-entrepreneur-shortlist-for-statements-dan/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/young-entrepreneur-shortlist-for-statements-dan/#comments Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/young-entrepreneur-shortlist-for-statements-dan/ Dan Conboy, Director of Statement, a digital agency has been shortlisted as Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the prestigious Digital Entrepreneur Awards.

Promoting the talent behind digital innovation and creativity, the awards have been recognising ‘trailblazing’ online entrepreneurs for more than 10 years. With an eye for intelligent and brave individuals that have seized a gap in the market, the Young Entrepreneur accolade rewards those that have achieved success and judgement expected of their older peers.

Commenting on his shortlist within the northern, digital category, Dan Conboy said: “Just to be shortlisted within this category means a great deal. I have admired many individuals that have taken the Young Entrepreneur title, while also watching some outstanding businesses take to the stage to showcase the fantastic work that digital business are delivering in the North.

“Whilst my name may be on the shortlist, it’s my talented team that have also helped me and the Statement business deliver great things!”

The winners will be announced on 22nd November at the Principal Hotel in Manchester.

The nomination for Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Digital Entrepreneur Awards coincides with news that Statement was shortlisted for Small eCommerce Agency of the Year at the Northern eCommerce Awards 2017. Here, the Wakefield, Leeds and Manchester based business was recognised alongside its clients Lo-Dough and Goodwin Smith.

Wakefield electrical firm to create 144 new jobs following 9m facility expansion http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-electrical-firm-to-create-144-new-jobs-following-pound9m-facility-expansion/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-electrical-firm-to-create-144-new-jobs-following-pound9m-facility-expansion/#comments Tue, 24 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-electrical-firm-to-create-144-new-jobs-following-pound9m-facility-expansion/ OE Electrics, which manufactures and distributes electrical equipment, has doubled the size of its operations in Wakefield.

OE House is a 66,000 sq ft energy efficient facility that was custom built for the firm at Calder Park, enabling it to double its capacity and diversify to new markets.

The expansion, which has cost just over £9m to complete, will lead to the creation of 144 local jobs.

The project was completed with the support of a £500k fund from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Business Growth Programme.

It also received a LEP Loan of £1m from the Growing Places Fund, which enabled the company to build the facility to a high energy saving specification complete with LED lighting and solar panels.

David Masters, group managing director, said: “This investment from the LEP and other sources has not only enabled us to double our operations, it also means we can supply to new sectors.

“We initially only supplied electrical equipment to offices but we are now able to look to the education, healthcare, leisure and passenger transport markets.

“We manufacture in Australia too and export to the Middle East, America and currently a small part of Europe. We’re now developing a European Distribution Network to hopefully expand our operations in this region and expect this to be a large area of growth, despite Brexit.

“Innovation is something that is really important to us and we’re launching five new electrical products this year.”

The 144 new jobs that are being created will mostly be recruited from the West Yorkshire area. An apprenticeship programme that will recruit at least 10 apprentices within the next eight years is also in the pipeline.

Mr Masters added: “As well as enabling us to improve our efficiency and accommodate growth, our new state-of-the art facility has been built as a showroom for our customers and to provide the best possible working conditions for our employees.”

OE House contains the firm’s head office, warehouse, distributing and R&D operations.

Andrew Wright, chair of the LEP Business, Innovation and Growth (BIG) Panel, commented: “OE Electrics was voted Wakefield Business of the Year in June 2017 which is not surprising due to its rapid expansion over the last few months and the state-of-the-art facilities it has provided for its staff.

“Despite uncertain conditions in the wake of Brexit, this is an example of a British company that has continued to grow and diversify its operations whilst supporting the local economy through job creation.”


 ]]> Strong end to 25th year for Arena Group http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/strong-end-to-25th-year-for-arena-group/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/strong-end-to-25th-year-for-arena-group/#comments Tue, 24 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/strong-end-to-25th-year-for-arena-group/ Arena Group has closed its 25th anniversary year with a hat trick. Profit growth of over 8% is expected, the latest award for Arena’s excellence in customer service has been announced, and Arena’s employees smashed an ambitious target to raise £25,000 for local hospices.

Arena Group, founded in Leeds in 1991, decided to mark their 25th anniversary year leveraging the many talents and commitment of the company’s employees, and chase a £25,000 charitable fundraising target. Significant sums were raised through a sky diving, Tough Mudder, cycling, three peaks and multiple 10k challenges. But critical contributions also came from a plethora of raffles, bake sales, team calendar and other less adrenalin filled fundraising activities initiated by employees, to benefit Wakefield, East Lancashire and Rotherham hospices.

Arena Group has also been confirmed as the winner of the award for customer excellence by the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and is now a contender for the national award.

“It’s been a stand-out year for Arena,” explains Adrian Fitzpatrick, managing director and co-founder of Arena Group.

“Whilst markets bear all the hallmarks of maturing, the business has performed strongly in its 25th year. The real story, however, is the efforts of our Arena people, not only delivering award winning customer excellence, but in selecting to support important local causes and embarking on a mammoth fundraising challenge during a busy year of growth for the business. Both feats demonstrate that our founding principles for the Arena business are as strong as ever and are values that successfully underpin our high performing business culture.”]]> Commanding the Competitive Edge for District Wide Businesses http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/commanding-the-competitive-edge-for-district-wide-businesses/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/commanding-the-competitive-edge-for-district-wide-businesses/#comments Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/commanding-the-competitive-edge-for-district-wide-businesses/ Hoping to give businesses in Wakefield the competitive edge, former BBC Business Journalist, Penny Haslam, will share insight into how individuals can increase their profile whilst communicating with the brevity and impact that is essential in the modern business climate, when she headlines Wakefield Bondholder’s first Friday on 3rd November at Unity Cafe.

Advocating the importance of ‘getting out there’ in order to be known amongst the business community, Penny will explain how effective networking can enhance the personal and professional brand for both individuals and businesses.

Penny comments: “Whilst getting out and about is vital for growth, with so much competition for business, it’s important that organisations and individuals are using these occasions to present their best selves. In light of the uncertainty around Brexit, it’s also vital that we keep one eye on the future. Positioning yourself as an expert in your field, whilst raising your profile, will ensure loyal customers, even when times aren’t easy.

“These days modern business communication is all about the paragraph and not the dissertation. Being able to convey information succinctly, without appearing too salesy, is a skill that can take practise. But, with a little help, individuals can use this as a tool to enhance their careers and generate positivity around their business.”

Equipping individuals and businesses with the tools to communicate their expertise in a way which guarantees maximum impact is a specialty for Penny. Having enjoyed a twenty-year career in broadcasting, Penny has not only interviewed hundreds of professionals on live television and national radio, but was awarded Speaker of the Year 2016 from the Professional Speaking Association and has featured as a TEDx speaker leading talks on the Power of Visibility.

Ian Wainwright, of Wakefield Bondholders, the private-sector initiative dedicated to branding, promoting and marketing the Wakefield district as a great place to visit, invest and live, comments:

“We’re lucky in Wakefield to have an active business community who engage in regular networking so I’m sure Penny’s experience and insight will be extremely valuable.”

Joining the line-up of speakers at the event will be Adrian Spawforth, Chair of Wakefield Bondholders, who will provide an economic update, followed by Gail Glover, Head of Sales and Business Development at Unity Works, who will provide an insight into what’s coming up next for Unity Works.  

The first Friday event will take place at Unity Café, Wakefield on Friday 3rd November, from 8.45am. The charge for the event will be £10 and includes a breakfast of hot sandwiches, fruits and freshly prepared tea and coffee. 

TO BOOOK YOUR PLACE CLICK HERE ]]> Historic Knottingley industrial estate hits the market for 1.1m http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/historic-knottingley-industrial-estate-hits-the-market-for-pound11m/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/historic-knottingley-industrial-estate-hits-the-market-for-pound11m/#comments Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/historic-knottingley-industrial-estate-hits-the-market-for-pound11m/ Walker Singleton, the West Yorkshire property consultant, has been instructed to market a Knottingley industrial estate with a guide price of £1.1m.

Fernley Green Industrial Estate, which has a rich boat-building heritage, is being sold on behalf of property company Hansteen Holdings Plc.

The estate comprises of 22 industrial units totalling nearly 28,000 sq ft, plus a compound and slipway. The estate is part-let and has a potential for an estimated rent of approximately £122k per annum.

This site, by the Knottingley and Goole Canal, was formerly the home of Harkers Boat Builders which constructed more than 300 boats there from 1929 to 1979.

Various units on the estate continue to be used for boat-building and repair.

Jonathan O’Connor, Director at Walker Singleton, commented: “We expect strong and swift levels of interest in the site.

“There is a good deal of demand for investments of this nature in the current market and we anticipate interest from throughout the Yorkshire region.”]]>