Wakefieldfirst | Latest News Feed http://www.wakefieldfirst.com Latest News from WakefieldFirst Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.srcreative.net/ New Director appointed to the board at Wakefield BID http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/new-director-appointed-to-the-board-at-wakefield-bid-/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/new-director-appointed-to-the-board-at-wakefield-bid-/#comments Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/new-director-appointed-to-the-board-at-wakefield-bid-/ Wakefield BID has appointed Debenhams Store Manager Andy Gooder to its Board of Directors.

Andy joined Debenham’s nearly four years ago to manage its shop in Trinity Walk, Wakefield’s first modern department store. He has extensive experience in retail having worked as a store manager for 21 years for Homebase, Somerfield and Woolworths.

“I started out in retail as a Christmas temp at Woolworths and worked my way up over four years to store manager,” said Andy. “I have been based in Wakefield three times over an 18-year span and have seen the community evolve considerably over that time. The city centre I walked into when I joined Debenhams was completely different to when I first came here.”

Wakefield BID was launched earlier this year with the aim of making the city a great place to do business and give the local economy a boost. Andy said he was keen to get involved with the BID because he is passionate about Wakefield.

“The city has so much to offer and be proud of. As businesses it is key that we not only do all we can to promote Wakefield but join forces under one vision to make it even better and that is what the BID aims to do,” he explained.

“Debenhams may be a large national retailer but it is as much in our interest as in that of smaller independent businesses that Wakefield has a vibrant thriving city centre. By working hand in hand, national chains and independents, we can achieve that.”

Andy said he was delighted to be joined the BID Board. “As well as bringing my retail experience and the facilities that the store has to offer for holding wider community events to the Board table, I hope I also contribute energy and excitement. I’m looking forward to pushing ahead and making Wakefield a better place to live and work.”

Wakefield creative quarter plans submitted http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-creative-quarter-plans-submitted/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-creative-quarter-plans-submitted/#comments Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-creative-quarter-plans-submitted/ Plans have been submitted to transform a listed mill site in Wakefield into a new mixed use creative quarter for collaborative partnerships in music, film and TV.

Planning consultancy Turley has submitted a planning permission and listed building consent application on behalf of City & Provincial Properties to convert Rutland Mills on Wakefield Waterfront.

Working with Wakefield Council, City and Provincial Properties, which is behind Tileyard Studios, a creative media hub in central London, plan to create a ‘northern extension’ of the brand.

The Rutland Mills site would be turned into a vibrant, new mixed use creative quarter for collaborative partnerships in music, film, TV, design and new media.

The planned development is the final stage of a regeneration masterplan that will give ten acres of Wakefield’s historic riverside a new lease of life.

The development includes a new building, riverside pier and new public realm creating a large open air events space. The applications propose a flexible range of uses, including new shops, a hotel, food and drink outlets, conference and education spaces, art galleries, craft workshops, studios and offices.

Bob May, planning director at Turley, said: "This is an important project for Wakefield that will bring transformational change to the Waterfront Area.  

"The application proposals set a new benchmark in heritage regeneration in the quality of the re-purposed built environment and the flexibility of permitted use of space."

Joshua Hammond, Digital Staff Writer

Theatre’s expansion is three decades in the making http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/theatres-expansion-is-three-decades-in-the-making/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/theatres-expansion-is-three-decades-in-the-making/#comments Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/theatres-expansion-is-three-decades-in-the-making/ It has been three decades in the making, but in a short few months, a derelict piece of land next to Wakefield’s historic Frank Matcham theatre will be transformed into a state of the art studio space - proof, the theatre’s director says, that the city’s art scene is both ambitious and here to stay. Theatre Royal Wakefield’s long-awaited Centre for Creativity will be the latest arts venue to open in the city, joining the nationally renowned Hepworth Wakefield, which opened in 2011, and the Art House, across from the Theatre on Drury Lane, in 2008, as well as numerous smaller, independent arts offerings.

For the theatre, that is the Centre of Creativity. With a total build and fit out price hitting just short of £1m, it’s no small feat.Inside will be a new cafe bar which will double up as an extra box office, and mean the theatre will be accessible to the public outside of showtimes, and a new studio theatre space, named after the theatre’s Life President, Sir Rodney Walker, in recognition of he and his wife Ann’s generous donations over the past 30 years.

Miss Town Theatre’s Executive Director, said: “The foresighted people who raised money to re-open the theatre in the 1980s bought the plot, but didn’t have the money or energy to do anything with it. Until now, it wasn’t possible to get the right idea for the space, alongside raising the significant amount of money to make it happen. Now we’re just delighted that shortly after celebrating 30 years of being open, we’re finally making it a reality.“What we’re building is a glass and steel palace. It will look very different to anything else on Westgate, but the idea of the corten steel is that it will rust down over time, to the same colour as the existing Matcham brick. It will look very modern in contrast, but similar in style to the existing building. “We’re very limited in terms of facilities at the moment and the new Centre will enable us to expand our audience experience.” The flexibility of the studio space will mean the theatre can move rehearsals for in-house productions from “dusty old church halls”, to on site. Outreach community work and children’s theatre will also be held at the Centre, and there is scope for a whole new programme of theatre, which is already being built.

“We’re bringing a lot of what we already do into the theatre space so it will feel much more rooted in what we are doing, and make it more visible to the public,” Miss Town said.Funding for the build has come from a variety of sources, including Wakefield Council, which gave £200,000, Key Fund and Power to Change, which gave a joint £200,000, and the Arts Council, which gave £70,000. The £900,000 build target is already met, but the theatre is currently raising £60,000 to fit it out, and is selling stars on its ‘Wall of Fame’ to contributors. Among those who have already donated are playwright John Godber, Australian actor and singer Jason Donovan, and Wakefield panto dame and star of CBeebies’ Topsy and Tim, Chris Hannon. Miss Town said: “What’s been fantastic is that parents of children in our Performance Academy have been building stars for the children, so their names - future, rising stars - will be up there with established stars like Jason Donovan. It’s really chimed a chord.”

The Centre for Creativity will open next spring.

Read more at: www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk

Written by Lindsay Pantry





Read more at: http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-and-comedy/theatre-s-expansion-is-three-decades-in-the-making-1-8846852

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.”