Plans outlined to turn market hall into city centre creative hub

Wakefield Council’s Cabinet will be given an update on plans to transform the city’s former market hall into a new creative space – when they meet next week.

The Wakefield Exchange project will see the site turned into a creative hub, featuring provision for events and exhibitions, alongside skills and creative business space.

It will provide a social area for residents and local businesses, supporting the growth of the city centre and attracting an estimated 300,000 visits a year.

It will also act as a catalyst for further creative and digital industries to develop, supporting growth in higher skilled jobs and connect with and complement other key developments, including Tileyard North at Rutland Mills.

Following redevelopment, the site will have three main functions:

  • Showcase spaces for events and exhibitions, with a supporting social eating and drinking offer
  • Workspace for creative and digital businesses
  • Space for creative skill development and business support activities

Councillor Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “The transformation of the former market hall is really exciting and will allow us to support local people to develop new skills and access jobs in the creative and digital sector, alongside delivering a range of fun events and activities to support our local economy.

“The hugely popular Festival of the Moon, WordFest and the Fire & Ice installation as part of the Festival of the Earth have already showcased the potential of the site, with amazing feedback from residents and visitors, and we’re so excited to see it all come to fruition.”

Cabinet will be asked to approve the proposed reallocation Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Creative Hubs grant funding and the allocation of UK Shared Prosperity Funding and the Council’s Cultural Growth Investment Fund to enable completion of the project.

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