Wakefield submits its bid to the Future High Streets Fund
Wakefield’s High Street Task Force has submitted a bid to the government which, if successful, will see a £44.6million investment into the city centre as part of the Future High Streets Fund.
The Future High Streets Fund aims to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that drives growth, improves experiences for users and ensures future sustainability.
The bid includes three flagship schemes:
Wakefield Hub will be an inspirational new community and cultural space in the heart of the city centre. It will include a new museum, gallery and library with extensive learning opportunities and skills and employment resources. Replacing the currently unused BHS site this will be a purpose built and modern space that promises to transform the area.
A new public square and venue for activities and events. The proposal includes the acquisition and demolition of several properties opposite the Cathedral to create a larger public square. This will provide a world-class public square fit for hosting large scale events, markets and exhibitions.
The aim of the triangle is to connect three key points across the city. The first point on the triangle combines The Hepworth Wakefield, Rutland Mills and the Waterfront to the South of the city centre, the second point is around Cathedral Square and the soon to be re-developed WX3 hub in the former Market Hall, whilst the third combines Theatre Royal Wakefield and The Art House. Collectively these spaces attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and the plan is to introduce new signage, street art, lighting and physical interventions along with a digital app to help visitors find their way across these three key points of the city.
Not only will the Future High Streets Fund transform the city centre, analysis suggests it will also increase footfall by an additional 1.1 million visitors. In addition it will create jobs and create a more attractive city that we can all be proud of.
Wakefield BID is a member of the High Street Task Force along with Wakefield Council and key partners from across the city.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic it is currently not clear when the government will make their decision on the application.
We wait with anticipation and excitement for a project that could truly transform our city.