Weekender: Ice cream parlour to open at mixed use development

Yorkshire ice cream parlour Rassam’s Creamery is to launch a new outlet at Merchant Gate, a mixed-use development in the heart of Wakefield.

Rassam’s has taken Unit 7, comprising 5,468 sq ft, at Merchant Gate on a 20-year lease.

The parlour is due to be fitted out shortly and is planning to open before the end of the year, depending on the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Merchant Gate, a mixed-use regeneration project, has been delivered by The English Cities Fund, a strategic joint venture between urban regeneration innovators, Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England, working collaboratively with Wakefield Council and Network Rail.

James Scott, development director at The English Cities Fund, said: “Bringing Rassam’s to Merchant Gate highlights its commitment to our development, as well as being a ringing endorsement of what we’ve achieved here.

“We’re delighted to welcome Rassam’s to the scheme and we look forward to seeing it open when it’s appropriate to do so.

“This unit was formally occupied by Anytime Fitness and a recent change of use planning application has been secured for restaurant/leisure use, which has enabled Rassam’s to move in.”

Rassam Alyafai, owner of Rassam’s Creamery, said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce the opening of my new restaurant at Merchant Gate.

“Since launching in Sheffield in 2012, Rassam’s has become famous in Yorkshire.

“This unit at Merchant Gate is massive and I believe it will be the largest dessert restaurant in the UK, alongside our restaurant at Sheffield.

“We are planning to open by the end of the year and are hoping that we will make a difference in the community of Wakefield.”

Merchant Gate blends Grade A office buildings, retail and leisure facilities, alongside 66 residential apartments, a new public square, as well as a 1,500-space multi-storey car park and a new college for performing arts.

CAPA – Creative and Performing Arts College – is currently under construction at Merchant Gate and will welcome up to 500 students in September next year.

In addition, Merchant Gate is home to Wakefield Council’s civic offices, library and museum.

Scott said Merchant Gate was a striking symbol of the renaissance of Wakefield.

“Merchant Gate, and strategic schemes like it in the city, are changing people’s perceptions of Wakefield,” he said.

“The city is benefiting from substantial investment, a proud history and an excellent location and Merchant Gate is fast becoming one of its premier mixed-use destinations.”

The marketing agents of Merchant Gate are the Leeds offices of Knight Frank, JLL and Pudney Shuttleworth.