Cash sought to help create more jobs and skills training

Residents and businesses in South Kirkby have backed proposals by Wakefield Council to attract new businesses and employment opportunities to the area while creating new skills training opportunities for young people.

The proposals involve three projects, for which the council is looking to secure £20m worth of funding.

The Creative Futures Hub will see the construction of a purpose-built facility to support higher and further education in the creative industries sector. The hub will be supported by the council’s Youth Hub service.

The two other projects were both endorsed by 85% of respondents to a public consultation.

One proposes the development of a new creative cluster at Production Park to support more well-paid, highly skilled jobs. The other is a Gateway and Greening project to improve the environment around South Kirkby for the benefit of all who use it.

The council has submitted its £20m bid to the Levelling Up Fund to finance the three projects. However, funding is not guaranteed, as councils across England are competing against each other for a share of the money.

Councillor Darren Byford, cabinet member for regeneration at Wakefield Council, said: “A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who took part in the consultation.

“We know this is a very competitive process, and this funding is not guaranteed. These projects are important as they have the potential to make a significant difference to local residents and businesses.

“We have put forward a strong and persuasive bid which we hope will be successful so that we can get on with delivering an exciting future for South Kirkby.”

Labour MP Jon Trickett said: “South Kirkby desperately needs this £20m to deliver transformative business and job opportunities for the area.

“Having come through the pandemic, a recession, and the ongoing cost of living crisis, the community needs this financial support from Government to deliver much needed development, and create well paid quality full-time jobs.”

The result of the bid is expected in the autumn of 2022.