Work begins to revitalise historic Westgate

Wakefield BID's support for Council's 'Historic High Street' bid sees work begin on £3.8million scheme to revitalise Wakefield Westgate

Work is now underway on a £3.8million improvement to Wakefield's Westgate upper Westgate area. 

A successful bid supported by Wakefield BID has seen £1.9million in funding from Historic England and the same amount matched by Wakefield Council to revitalise this historic part of the city.

Westgate acts as a gateway to Wakefield city centre and boasts some of our most beautiful buildings including the Grade II*-listed Theatre Royal Wakefield designed by the celebrated theatre architect Frank Matcham, and the early 20th century Unity Hall.

The fund will support a number of iniatives in the Upper Westgate conservation area, which stretches from Westgate Railway Bridge to the junction with Wood Street, and takes in the medieval yards and alleyways that have left an indelible footprint on Wakefield's layout.

The grant will fund:

  • conservation work to the historic Georgian and Victorian buildings
  • improvements to tired streets and historic yards
  • focus on diversifying businesses in the area and attracting new enterprises to the area
  • include a cultural programme that will engage visitors in the areas unique history

The council will work with Westgate building owners, offering them grant funding to restore buildings of historic and architectural interest and make use of vacant floor space within them.

At least 20 buildings will be restored, for both residential and business use.

Christine Armstrong of Wakefield BID comments: "This is another great step for Wakefield. Westgate has some of the cities most architecturally beautiful and historically significant buildings. Investment in the area will continue to encourage new businesses, visitors and residents to choose Wakefield as a play to live, work and play. We're delighted to support the Council in this initiative, and look forward to the work in this area complementing plans for Cathedral Square and the surrounding area as part of the Future High Streets Fund."

Further information on the Historic High Streets Project can be found on the Wakefield Council website (click here).